Quotations of news and views by subject

At the end of this page there is a list of subjects, with links to the relevant sections

Within each section of this page the more recent items are shown first. However, extracts can, if preferred, be read in chronological order by using the "Up" link to go to the start of the item next above the one just read.

Authors expressing their own views are indicated in bold. The names of reporters are in normal type.


Asylum – deportation
Supreme Court blocks deportation of asylum seekers with no political views
Martin Beckford and Aislinn Laing
Daily Telegraph, 26 July 2012

Thousands more asylum seekers could be allowed to stay in Britain after the country's highest court ruled that even those with no political views are at risk of persecution from oppressive regimes.

Justices at the Supreme Court held that the right not to hold political opinions is protected by international refugee law just as much as the right not to be religious.

They said that no one should be expected to lie about their allegiances in order to avoid persecution, and that it would in any case be impossible for judges to decide if their pretence would be believed.

The ruling allowed four Zimbabweans to remain in Britain, defeating attempts by the Home Office to deport them, but could be used more widely by those claiming asylum to avoid being returned to dictatorships even if they have never been dissidents.

Donna Covey, the Chief Executive of the Refugee Council, said: "We welcome this important judgment, confirming that the right to political freedom includes the right not to support any particular political party.

"People should not have to lie about having or not having political beliefs as a way of avoiding persecution."

But Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migration Watch UK, said: "This is ridiculous. It is yet a further extension of the grounds on which asylum may be granted.

"We already have a serious problem in that 60 per cent of applications turn out to be bogus and a similar proportion don't bother claiming until they are discovered.

"It is time the courts realised the extent to which the asylum system is being exploited."
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Soft-touch Britain, the asylum seeker capital of Europe: We let in more than anyone else last year
Tom Kelly
Daily Mail, 30 June 2012

Britain granted asylum to more people than any other European Union country last year, official figures revealed yesterday.

Some 14,360 immigrants were given asylum within the UK in 2011, compared with 13,045 in the second highest country, Germany, and 10,740 in third placed France.

The figure was the third successive rise in successful claims in the UK and an increase of 41 per cent since 2008.

Critics said the data confirmed that Britain is a soft touch when it comes to granting asylum.

Britain also approved more than a third of asylum applications last year, while France accepted fewer than one in seven claims and Germany around one in five. ...

The number of people granted asylum in the UK has grown steadily in the last four years, from 10,200 in 2008 to 14,360 last year.

Together, the EU's 27 member states granted asylum to 84,100 people in 2011, an increase of 8,300 on the previous year. Most came from Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia. ...

Last year it was revealed that nearly 100,000 asylum seekers have been 'lost' by bungling immigration officials.

The 98,000 were the applicants that the UK Border Agency was unable to track down from among nearly half a million cases found abandoned in boxes at the Home Office in 2006.
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Asylum – Europe, USA
Asylum claims 'at highest since 2003'
The Guardian, 27 March 2012

Afghans topped the list of asylum claimants to the world's richest countries in 2011, followed by Chinese and Iraqis, the UN refugee agency has reported.

The biggest annual rise was among Tunisians, Libyans and people from Ivory Coast, while the number of Pakistanis and Syrians applying for asylum also jumped noticeably.

Overall, asylum applications to the 44 industrialised countries surveyed rose 20% in 2011, to 441,300 from 368,000 the previous year. The office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said it was the highest figure since 2003.

More than 35,700 Afghans asked for asylum last year, a one-third increase compared with 2010. Many were fleeing poverty and persecution in Afghanistan 10 years after the US-led invasion that ousted the Taliban.

Asylum applications from Chinese citizens passed 24,400 last year, a 13% increase, UNHCR said in its annual survey. About three in five Chinese applicants went to the US.

Almost 23,500 Iraqis also claimed asylum in 2011, up 14% from the previous year. Like Afghans, they mostly went to Europe and Germany and Turkey in particular.
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Asylum – Europe
The Arab Exodus: Two million people fled into Europe because of the Spring rebellions
Emily Allen
Daily Mail, 27 March 2012

Asylum seekers from Arab Spring countries and West African nations suffering civil strife surged into Europe last year new figures have revealed.

The Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank, said almost two million people have left their homes over the last year as a result of the impact of the Arab Spring across North Africa and the Middle East.

Europe's largest group of migrants for a third consecutive year was from Afghanistan.
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Asylum – trafficking
Young adult asylum seekers are 'coached' to act like children to exploit Britain's benefit system
Daily Mail, 1 February 2012

Human traffickers are coaching young adult asylum seekers to act like children so they can claim more benefits when they reach Britain, a court has heard.

The claim emerged during a judicial review challenge brought by an Afghan asylum seeker who says he is 16, but is actually thought to be nearly 20.

The immigrant, whose identity has not been revealed due to a court order, claimed he was 14 when he arrived in Britain in 2009.

However, social workers found his physical appearance to be like that of an adult who had been 'coached' to act younger than his years.

With taxpayer-funded legal help, he has now taken his case to the High Court, insisting his adult appearance is due to his 'ethnicity'.

The Afghan said learning difficulties mean he is entitled to a full-time British education until the age of 25. ...

His claim for asylum was rejected in May 2010 after a tribunal found his evidence was 'self-serving and rehearsed'.

But his removal from Britain, originally planned for November 2010, has been put off after his lawyers challenged both the age assessment and the Home Office's decision to remove him.

Child migrants have access to a larger range of benefits, which are not available to adults, and their young age can greatly improve the chances of them staying in Britain.
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Asylum – Australia
Refugee appeals involving false claims cost taxpayers millions
David Murray
The Sunday Mail [Queensland], 29 January 2012

Dodgy claims involving fake religious beliefs, sham marriages and lies about sexuality are adding to a logjam of cases in immigration and refugee tribunals, costing taxpayers millions of dollars.

Desperate foreign citizens who arrive by plane are launching a barrage of appeals after Immigration officials reject their claims and seek to send them home. ...

While much of the national attention has focused on boat arrivals, many thousands more arrive by plane and are fighting to stay.

Thousands of extra appeals are being lodged by plane arrivals each year, leading to a cost blow-out for taxpayers and long delays for applicants.

Frustrated tribunal members are finding some claims are blatantly faked, including a Chinese asylum seeker who said he was Catholic but didn't know who the Pope was.

Other men lied about being gay or invented elaborate stories about being pursued by criminal gangs, ex-partners or corrupt officials in an attempt to gain asylum.

One Nigerian man sought protection for being part of a militant group involved in armed robbery, kidnapping and other non-political crimes.

Visa overstayers, including students, are also faking it or taking advantage of appeal delays to buy time in Australia at the expense of a clogged system.

The Refugee Review Tribunal, which handles only plane arrivals, had 2966 appeals lodged last year - a 31 per cent jump.

The separate Migration Review Tribunal, which handles student, spouse, business and bridging visas, had 10,315 appeals last year - up 24 per cent.

The Federal Government was forced to provide an extra $14 million to the two tribunals for the next four years at the last Budget as appeals skyrocketed.

It can be difficult for asylum seekers to prove persecution, but some claims unravelled under questioning from tribunal members.

Monash University associate researcher Adrienne Millbank said the asylum seeker appeals system was vulnerable to false claims. ...

Combined appeals to the two tribunals have tripled in the past five years, prompting principal member Denis O'Brien to warn of delays in settling cases this year. ...

A Canberra crackdown on student visas is contributing to the surge.

Immigration lawyers blame incorrect Immigration Department decisions, citing the high rate of successful appeal cases. Last year 41 per cent of appeals to the Migration Review Tribunal and 24 per cent to the Refugee Review Tribunal were successful. ...

The Refugee Review Tribunal is also set to take on thousands more cases in the coming months when it resumes responsibility for assessing appeals from boat arrivals, who now use a separate system.

Separate appeals can be lodged through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Federal Magistrates Court, Federal Court, High Court and the boat arrivals system.
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Asylum – costs
Case has cost taxpayer at least £250,000
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 18 January 2012

A senior judge today condemned the immigration 'merry-go-round' that allowed an asylum seeker to stay in Britain for a decade.

The Pakistani national was allowed to make a staggering 16 appeals or new applications despite being rejected at every turn, at an estimated cost to taxpayers of at least £250,000.

Lord Justice Ward said the 'depressing story' was typical of asylum cases in which 'endless fresh claims' were allowed to 'clog up' the system.

He said: 'This is another of those frustrating appeals which characterise - and, some may even think, disfigure - certain aspects of the work in the immigration field.

'Here we have one of those whirligig cases where an asylum seeker goes up and down on the merry-go-round leaving one wondering when the music will ever stop.

'It is a typical case where asylum was refused years ago but endless fresh claims clog the process of removal.'

The Court of Appeal judge rejected the man's latest appeal and insisted he should now be returned to Pakistan. ...

The 38-year-old man, whose identity is hidden by the court, first arrived in Britain in August 1998, and claimed asylum one month later.

His claim was rejected by the Home Secretary two years later after an official rejected documents he presented as evidence as 'false' and found they 'cast doubt on his credibility'. ...

Around £100 million is spent annually on legal aid for asylum seekers, but this does not include the cost of courts and tribunal system hearing the cases or the cost to the government of fighting the cases and processing the paperwork.
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Benefits and costs – doctors
Revealed: 3 in 4 of Britain's danger doctors are trained abroad
Ben Leach and Laura Donnelly
Sunday Telegraph, 30 December 2012

The vast majority of doctors who have been struck off in the past five years were trained abroad, new figures from the General Medical Council show. ...

The revelations will add to concerns that NHS patients are not adequately protected from health professionals from countries where training is less rigorous than in the UK, and from those who are unfamiliar with basic medical practices in this country.

The figures, disclosed for the first time and obtained by The Sunday Telegraph using freedom of information laws, show:

• Three quarters of doctors struck off the medical register this year were trained abroad.

• Doctors trained overseas are five times more likely to be struck off than those trained in the UK.

• The country with the biggest single number of doctors who have been removed or suspended from the medical register, is India, followed by Nigeria and Egypt.

In total, 669 doctors have been either struck off or suspended by the GMC over the last five years.

Of those, only 249 were British (37 per cent) while 420 (63 per cent) were trained abroad – whereas one-third of doctors on the register were trained abroad, and two-thirds in Britain. ...

There are around 253,000 doctors on the medical register. Around 92,000 were trained abroad, an increase of around 2,000 over the past year.

Of those, more than 25,000 were trained in Europe and around 67,000 were trained in other countries.
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Benefits and costs – wage rates
Factors ignored in migration debate
Michael McCarthy
The Guardian, 19 December 2012
[Letter to the Editor]

It's striking that, in his recent speech, Ed Miliband appears to be keenly interested in the language skills of people who move to Britain but has little or nothing to say about their impact on the labour market and wage rates (Attack on Labour's 'English for migrants' plan, 15 December). If you increase the supply of labour, the price of labour shows an extraordinary tendency to be held down or depressed. Did that sound socialist Ralph Miliband never point that out to his son Ed, nor introduce him to the concept of the reserve army of labour?

If Labour is to have any hope of mending its fences with people at the bottom of the heap who face stiff competition in the labour market from, for example, recent arrivals from eastern Europe, it will have to address a good deal more than language issues. In particular, it will have to address the absurd EU dogma that the disruptive consequences of the free movement of capital can be counterbalanced by the free movement of labour; the latter actually increases the economic pressures on the most vulnerable and disempowered members of host communities.

... To pretend ... that sizable, economically driven movements of population pose little more than linguistic and cultural problems, is to propagate myths which facilitate the toxic race to the bottom; it also enables the blame for the consequences of neoliberal policies to be passed on to its victims for their supposed inflexibility, xenophobia, ghetto mentality, bigotry or worse.
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Benefits and costs – housing, wages, student visas
Curbing mass immigration could bring down house prices, Theresa May says
Wesley Johnson
Daily Telegraph, 13 December 2012

Mass immigration needs to be curbed to bring down house prices, improve wages and reduce the benefits bill, Theresa May has said.

House prices could be 10% lower over 20 years if the Government cut net migration to zero, Mrs May, the home secretary, said.

She added: "Uncontrolled, mass immigration displaces British workers, forces people onto benefits, and suppresses wages for the low-paid."

Mrs May also announced more than 100,000 foreign students would be interviewed before being allowed into the UK to root out abuse from April.

The move signals a significant shift away from paper-based visa applications, with the new measures targeting bogus students in high-risk countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, China and India first.

Mrs May said the Government was on course to meet its pledge to cut net migration, the number of people who come to live in the UK for more than a year less the number leaving, to the tens of thousands by 2015.

It fell by a quarter to 183,000 from 242,000 in the year to March, figures showed last week.

The pace of change brought by mass immigration makes it impossible to establish the personal relationships, family ties and the social bonds that "turn the place where you live into a real community", Mrs May said.

"One area in which we can be certain mass immigration has an effect is housing.

"More than one third of all new housing demand in Britain is caused by immigration.

And there is evidence that without the demand caused by mass immigration, house prices could be 10 per cent lower over a 20 year period."

In a report on the economic impact of immigration for the House of Lords, Professor Stephen Nickell found house prices would be 13% higher if net migration stood at 190,000 a year than they would be with zero migration.

The "radical extension" of face-to-face visa interviews for foreign students and other migrants coming to the UK comes after a pilot scheme trialled 2,300 interviews in Pakistan.

"The lesson from that pilot was clear - abuse was rife, paper-based checks weren't working, and interviews, conducted by entry clearance officers with the freedom to use their judgement, work", Mrs May said in a key speech on immigration in central London.
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Benefits and costs – education
Education levels of immigrants rising rapidly
Daily Telegraph, 4 December 2012

Almost half Britain's immigrants are highly educated, a report claimed yesterday.

The rise in skilled newcomers follows government initiatives to concentrate on entry visas at people with aptitude in certain trades.

The level of educated migrants is well above the 31 per cent average in developed countries.

However, just 74 per cent of new arrivals with high-level skills are in jobs that reflect their qualifications, said the report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The report found that foreign-born migrants account for 11 per cent of the population, or 6.9 million. Almost a third of them (32 per cent) have arrived in the past five years, compared with an average of 22 per cent across the 34 OECD states, which include the rich EU countries and North America, which have traditionally attracted migration.

About 66 per cent of Britain's foreign-born population are employed, including 75 per cent of men and 58 per cent of women, higher than the OECD average.

But migrants are less likely to be employed than people born in Britain, and the median average income of immigrant households is 16 per cent below the native population.

There was evidence that economic disadvantage was passed on to migrants' children. Some 17 per cent of the youngsters, aged 15-34, of foreign-born migrants were not in employment, education or training, higher than the level for the native population.

The report said about 19 per cent of immigrant households in Britain were classed as being below the poverty line.
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Benefits and costs – health services
NHS is free for all foreigners
Tom Newton Dunn
The Sun, 27 November 2012

All foreigners must be treated by GPs for FREE after an order slipped through by the Government, The Sun can reveal.

The decision – which could cost taxpayers millions of pounds – was taken amid fears health chiefs could be sued under human rights laws.

And it applies to all visitors to Britain – including tourists, businessmen AND illegal immigrants.

The directive – quietly issued as MPs went on their summer hols – has sparked fears that GPs' waiting lists will soar, making it even harder to get an appointment.

Thousands more "health tourists" may also be encouraged to come here to enjoy free treatment that can be very costly in their home countries. Doctors must now accept as a patient any foreign visitor in Britain for more than 24 HOURS. ...

Until now, GPs have not registered patients unless they could prove they have a right to live in the UK, leaving foreigners only entitled to emergency treatment in hospitals. Now they can receive free blood tests, jabs and even prescription drugs. The order makes Britain one of the softest touches for health treatment in the world. In the last year nearly 3,600 "overseas visitors" have had hospital treatment worth at least £1,000 a time.

Officials last night insisted the order was issued by the Primary Care Commission – a health quango – to fend off a growing number of lawsuits.

The Department of Health said GPs have always had to take in illegal immigrants but few were doing so, which was why the "clarification" was issued.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt last night pledged to review the directive.

He said: "It clearly isn't right that illegal immigrants could get free treatment on the NHS. We will do all we can to fix this abuse of the system."
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Benefits and costs – health services
NHS is free for all foreigners: Our view
Frank Field and Nicholas Soames
The Sun, 27 November 2012

If you thought that the NHS stood for National Health Service, think again. Since last July it has become the International Health Service – but paid for, of course, out of your taxes.

That was when the Government sneaked out new instructions to family doctors with no public announcement and certainly no debate.

Doctors must now accept on their lists any foreign visitor who is here for more than 24 hours. They must also accept any illegal immigrant who cares to apply.

It is hard to think of a more open invitation to health tourists both from developing countries and from rich countries like the United States where health care is private and very expensive.

It is astonishing that the Government should have agreed to this when the NHS is struggling. It must be cancelled now.
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Benefits and costs – NHS
Jobless migrants from Romania and Bulgaria face NHS hospital ban: But May gives no clue as to how it will be enforced
Jason Groves
Daily Mail, 12 November 2012

Migrants from Romania and Bulgaria could be barred from using NHS hospitals if they come to Britain without a job, Theresa May suggested yesterday.

The Home Secretary admitted she would not be able to extend travel restrictions on the two countries when these expire at the end of next year.

But she said she was determined to limit the so-called 'pull factors' blamed for drawing thousands of jobless migrants to the UK.

Home Office sources said officials were looking at restricting access to key public services for migrants who arrive here without a job.

Areas being looked at include healthcare, education, housing and benefits.

Detailed proposals will be published next year but enforcing any ban will be fraught with difficulties. ...

Only people who have lived in the UK for the past year can get free NHS treatment but a Panorama investigation found that a third of 133 hospital trusts that replied to Freedom of Information requests made no checks.
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Benefits and costs – abandoned children
Children 'with no state' in UK
BBC, 5 November 2012

Hundreds of children living rough in London and other cities may have no nationality, the BBC has found.

Inside Out London has uncovered stories of children who according to official records do not exist - some forced into sex work to eat.

Further research by the BBC suggests it is a UK-wide problem.

Charities warn of stateless children in Birmingham, Leeds, Coventry, Nottingham, Newcastle, Liverpool, Oxford and Cardiff.

"The problems caused by statelessness are by no means limited to London," Chris Nash, of charity Asylum Aid, said.

Though, he acknowledges it is in the capital that the problem is most acute.

Many of London's stateless youths came to the UK legally, but were never officially registered.

They cannot access education or apply for social housing.

And according to two respected youth charities contacted by the BBC, there are "hundreds" of them in the city. ...

Some stateless children are as young as 14. With no support, shelter or care, they are increasingly turning to crime to survive.

And for teenagers like Tony, attempting to become a legal citizen retrospectively can be virtually impossible.

No longer in contact with their families, they struggle to prove their identity to immigration officials. ...

According to the Oxford University Centre on Migration Policy and Society, London and Birmingham are the major hotspots for statelessness.

The organisation spoke to 53 "irregular migrant" children and parents in the two cities, from countries including Afghanistan, Brazil, China, Jamaica, Nigeria, Iran, Iraq and the Kurdish region of Turkey.

The researchers estimate there are 120,000 children living in the UK without legal immigration status, mostly in London.

About a tenth of London's children are thought to have uncertain immigration status.

But there are no concrete figures for the number of stateless children - precisely because they are stateless.
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Benefits and costs – child benefits
£36.6m in child benefit is paid to children overseas as Osborne imposes cuts on UK families with anyone earning over £50,000
Matt Chorley
Daily Mail, 24 October 2012

The taxpayer is paying child benefit to 40,000 children who do not live in Britain at a cost of up to £36 million a year, ...

The astonishing bill run up by almost 24,000 families emerged as George Osborne presses ahead with a scheme to cut child benefit for higher earners in the UK.

The reforms are expected to save £1.5 billion a year, but Tory MPs are demanding the Chancellor end the payment to families overseas or risk an angry backlash from voters.

Under EU rules, the benefit has to be paid to European nationals who are working in Britain and paying National Insurance – even if their families are based abroad.

According to figures unveiled in Parliament yesterday, there were 23,855 families claiming for 40,251 children at the end of last month.

Two-thirds of the children (25,623) are based in Poland. Payments were also made for 2,529 children in Ireland, 2,146 in France, 1,953 in Slovenia and 1,291 in Spain. ...

The Treasury has refused to say how much international child benefits totalled, but Tory MP Priti Patel, who uncovered the figures through parliamentary questions, estimated it was £36.6 million.
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Benefits and costs – translation, interpreters
Courts need 10,000 translators a month but service fails to provide linguists for one in ten cases
Steve Doughty
Daily Mail, 23 October 2012

Taxpayer-funded translators are being used in courts at a rate of more than 10,000 times a month, figures reveal.

The interpreters were called on to provide translation for 163 languages in criminal courts, tribunals and family cases. ...

Between the end of January, when the contract started, and the end of August there were 72,043 interpretation duties carried out.

Just over half were in criminal courts, with nearly four in ten in tribunal hearings, including immigration, asylum and employment cases.
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Benefits and costs – health tourism
NHS tells doctors: You must treat all foreigners to protect their human rights... but you can still turn away BRITONS
Sophie Borland
Daily Mail, 13 October 2012

Health tourists must be given free treatment by GPs because it is their human right, say NHS bosses.

New guidelines tell doctors across England they must register any foreign patient who asks for care otherwise it would be 'discriminatory'.

These include asylum seekers, overseas students or tourists coming for a short holiday. Once registered, they will be entitled to the same NHS care as all other patients and can receive free blood tests, jabs and – in some cases – free prescription drugs.

In fact, the new rules will give overseas patients more rights than those living in the UK who can be turned away from surgeries if they live a few yards outside its catchment area.

There are also fears the ruling will make it even harder for local patients to get an appointment.

Already half of patients cannot get an appointment with their doctor within 48 hours, according to the Government's own figures.

Some family doctors are furious at the guidelines and describe them as a 'charter for health tourism'.

They say that such patients, once registered at a surgery, will also find it far easier to be referred to hospital for thousands of pounds of free treatment.

By law, overseas patients are not entitled to be treated at hospital – unless it is urgent – but staff rarely check on their backgrounds.

Until now, GP practices were not legally obliged to register foreigners and many turn away patients if they do not have passports or 'proof of address' documents.

But the new guidelines issued to all doctors in England will change this. ...

And Tory MP Chris Skidmore, who is campaigning for tougher regulation on health tourism, said: 'It is alarming that managers are passing these kind of diktats to doctors, many of whom are rightly worried that GP registration is effectively buying free treatment on the NHS.

'This is not just about the money, vital though that is – we cannot have the NHS, paid for by taxpayers, being abused by people who pay nothing into the system and who are not eligible for free care.'

Mr Skidmore has obtained figures showing that health tourists currently owe the NHS £40 million in unpaid medical bills.

In the last year nearly 3,600 'overseas visitors' have had hospital treatment worth at least £1,000 a time.

National guidelines say it would be discriminatory for GPs not to treat health tourists.
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Benefits and costs – health tourism
Let all European migrants claim benefits, insists Brussels
Rowena Mason
Daily Telegraph, 12 October 2012

European immigrants should be able to claim handouts and pensions without first having to pass a test proving that they have settled in Britain, the European Union has said.

The demand is the latest response in a continuing row after Iain Duncan Smith said that such a system would mean immigrants could get benefits on the first day of entering Britain.

The Work and Pensions Secretary said last month that it would cost taxpayers £155 million a year if the UK was forced to get rid of the "habitual resident test".

The test makes sure that foreigners have genuinely lived and paid taxes in the country before they can claim welfare payments.

His department has been holding talks with the European Commission for months in an effort to find a solution, but sources said on Thursday that Brussels was preparing to sue Britain by the end of this year unless the test is scrapped.

László Andor, the European commissioner for social affairs, has now accused Mr Duncan Smith of spreading "simply untrue" claims that foreigners could get benefit payments immediately under the European system. Mr Andor said that Britain was the only member state requiring foreigners to pass a test to prove that they legally resided and paid taxes in the particular country.

Brussels argues that Britain's rules go beyond stopping unfair claims and have the effect of preventing foreigners who have legitimately worked in the country from receiving benefits when they need them.

Sources said that the EU did not believe it had gained much ground in getting Britain to change its mind during the talks.

"An acceptable solution would be that the UK applies the same criteria as the 26 other member states," the source said.

"We've not made a lot of progress. Nobody is suggesting that the UK should pay out benefits to anyone who just turns up. But they should be paying social security to people who've paid taxes."

Under the British test, an applicant for benefits must have been in the country for an "appreciable time" and must also have an "intention to settle".
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Benefits and costs – health services
Health tourism: GP surgeries selling 'black market' access to NHS
Stephen Adams
Daily Telegraph, 3 October 2012

Places on GP lists are being sold on the black market to NHS 'health tourists' for up to £800 a time, an undercover investigation has found.

Surgery practice managers and 'fixers' have been secretly filmed selling access to doctors, enabling foreign nationals who have no legal right to free hospital treatment to be seen without paying.

Although hospitals should check if foreign patients are entitled to free NHS hospital care, Panorama found many did not.

The film, Britain's Secret Health Tourists, to be aired tonight, finds the system of checks is riddled with holes. ...

Programme makers also found 'fixers' working outside the NHS who were selling places on GP lists across the country.

One fixer was filmed selling an undercover reporter, posing as a Nigerian health tourist, a registration at a GPs' surgery for £300. The reporter went on to receive free blood tests in hospital.

Everybody in Britain - regardless of immigration or residency status - is entitled to free care in accident and emergency, as well as treatment for sexually transmitted infections.

However, hospitals are meant to check if patients receiving further treatment are entitled to it for free, or should pay.

The rules are complex but the single most important criterion is whether a foreign national has lived here for at least a year.

However, Panorama found a third of England's hospitals were failing to ask patients that question.

It means patients who have fraudulently obtained places on GP lists are routinely able to access costly hospital services at the taxpayers' expense.

Jim Gee, the former head of NHS Protect, tasked with combating fraud within the health service, told the programme that the system in hospitals was "unworkable". ...

Some GPs are also concerned at new guidance from the Primary Care Commission, a quango, on GP patient registration.

These state: "Nationality is not relevant in giving people entitlement to register as NHS patients for primary care services."

They also emphasise that anyone in the UK can register at a GP practice, no matter how long they have been in the country.

Neither should registration be withheld "because a patient does not have the necessary proof of residence or personal identification". ...

Given the lax nature of hospital checks on eligibility, the guidelines could also make it easier for foreign nationals who should be paying, to get expensive specialist NHS care for free.

Last year a Department of Health report conceded that the NHS was at risk of "health tourism" because it was a high-quality service that was "free at the point of access". ...

A Department of Health spokesman said the recent guidance on GP patient registration, published in July, merely "clarifies long-standing recommendations" that everybody was entitled to free primary health care.
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Benefits and costs – employment
Bad policy is to blame for UK's lack of growth
Jonathan Portes, director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research
Daily Telegraph, 21 August 2012

There is, however, one area where deregulation is urgently needed: immigration. It is bizarre that a government that claims it is committed to private-sector-led growth should have introduced a set of new burdensome and bureaucratic rules and regulations, including a quota on skilled migrants, that are designed expressly to make it more difficult for businesses to employ the workers they want.

By the Government's own estimates, this will reduce growth and make us poorer. Another consequence has been to take a thriving, dynamic and high-value-added export industry – further and higher education – and stop it from selling its product to foreigners.

This is no accident – the Minister for Immigration, Damian Green, claimed that a fall in student visas – a drop in UK exports, in other words – was a policy success. As long as the Government persists with its misguided approach to immigration, seeing it as a threat to be minimised, rather than as a potential driver of growth and innovation, then the UK will not be "open for business".
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Benefits and costs – economy, national deficit
Bring in migrants to cut billions from deficit, says Osborne's watchdog
Ben Chu and Andrew Grice
The Independent, 13 July 2012

Higher levels of immigration over the next 50 years would spare taxpayers from the need to endure much greater austerity, the Government's fiscal watchdog has said.

The ageing population will put growing financial pressure on future taxpayers and governments, and Britain will need to undergo an extra £17bn of spending cuts and tax rises to bring down the national debt to 40 per cent of gross domestic product by 2062, the Office for Budget Responsibility said.

This is on top of the £120bn fiscal consolidation the Chancellor, George Osborne, is pushing through as he seeks to close the budget deficit. But higher levels of immigration would help the economy to grow faster and ease the pressure to cut spending, according to the OBR. ...

The Treasury is already warning other departments that a "very tough" government spending review will be needed before the 2015 election – and the OBR's verdict provides Mr Osborne with ammunition. The OBR's analysis was based on the assumption that annual net migration over the following five decades will fall to 140,000.

It also showed that if annual immigration were to remain at present levels of 260,000 the economy would grow more quickly. The OBR said that higher immigration would raise the annual growth rate over the next five decades from 2.4 per cent to 2.7 per cent. Under these circumstances the size of the fiscal consolidation needed to bring down the public debt to 40 per cent of GDP would be three times smaller, at just £4.6bn.

Even the OBR's central projection, which sees net inward migration falling to 140,000 per year, would prove contentious if enacted because of the Coalition's pledge to dramatically reduce immigration. ...

The OBR's analysis showed that with annual immigration of 260,000 the UK's population, presently 62.3 million, would reach 85.8 million by 2060, and the working age population (16-65) would be 50.3 million. If annual migrant flows were 140,000, the British population would reach 77.2 million and the working age population would be 44.5 million. With zero migration the population would rise to 64.1 million and the working age population would fall to 41.4 million.

The OBR also forecast that if net inward migration were cut to zero over the next five decades, the scale of the public austerity facing Britain would need to be three times larger, at £46bn. If all migration ended tomorrow, the UK's average annual growth rate would fall to 2 per cent and the national debt would spiral to 120 per cent of GDP by the middle of the century.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – European Union
'Benefit tourists' to UK facing new crackdown
Alison Little
Daily Express, 7 July 2012

An end to the benefits tourism which sees migrants coming to Britain just for handouts is on the cards, the Government said yesterday.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said he was "optimistic" that a high level meeting of EU states in London yesterday had started a process towards a more common-sense approach across Europe.

He called the meeting of fellow ministers amid concern at attempts by the European Commission and European Court to overturn rules designed to ensure certain welfare benefits are paid only to people who genuinely live in their countries and seek to work and contribute to the social security systems.

Cases being fought by the UK include an attempt to make taxpayers top up a Latvian woman's pension of £50 a month to the British pension credit level of £133 a week.

As the Daily Express reported last year the UK Supreme Court rejected Galina Patmalniece's claim because she did not pass a residence test.

She arrived in the UK 12 years ago as an asylum seeker and was allowed to stay despite losing her claim for refugee status. The EU Commission has questioned the UK decision on grounds of discrimination based on nationality.

If Britain loses, taxpayers could face a bill of millions of pounds a year to top up the pensions of EU citizens who come here and expect higher payments without making any effort to earn them. ...

The UK is not challenging the right of EU citizens to move around Europe, nor the right of foreign immigrants to claim benefits after meeting residence and work rules.

But it wants to ensure the EU does not allow people to move to another country and automatically receive benefits.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – destitute immigrants
Homeless charity 'swamped' by eurozone migrants
Daily Telegraph, 28 June 2012

A homelessness charity has called on the Government to restrict immigration, saying it is being "swamped" with destitute people fleeing the eurozone's troubled economies.

The Nightwatch charity in Croydon say it has seen a huge rise in jobless and homeless Europeans arriving in the area as they flee troubled economies.

Chairman Jad Adams, speaking at the charity's annual meeting, said the charity could collapse if the Government did not stem the flow of immigration as the Eurozone crisis deepens.

He said the charity, which receives grants from including the National Lottery and Croydon Council, cannot increase its capacity "endlessly" and its finances are now under strain. ...

The right of free movement between members states of the European Union agreed under treaties is being abused, it claims.

"I fear that many people we see as clients are not exercising their treaty rights to come to look for work, but it is simply more attractive to be poor in this country than in some others.

"We have managed to support them - if with some difficulty - but we cannot go on increasing our capacity endlessly." ...

Writing in the charity's annual report, Mr Adams continues: "The government did not conceive that people would come to the country utterly destitute and reliant on the work of charities such as ours."

He said the movement of labour was an 'admirable thing', but said that some migrants 'simply found it more attractive to be poor in Britain than in their home countries'.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – squatting
Squatting rises as eurozone crisis drives migrants into London
Murray Wardrop
Daily Telegraph, 9 June 2012

Squatting cases in London's most affluent neighbourhoods have doubled in a year as the economic crisis has led to an influx of foreigners who struggle to find work or accommodation, figures suggest.

The number of applications for court orders to evict intruders from properties in areas such as Belgravia, Knightsbridge and Notting Hill has risen sharply.

While poor European migrants are being blamed for the increase in squatting, property experts say super-rich foreigners are also responsible.

A surge in foreign billionaires seeking homes in desirable postcodes has seen numerous properties sold but left vacant, allowing squatters to move in. ...

During the 12 months up to October last year, the number of applications for interim possession orders at county courts in London's most affluent areas more than doubled from 25 to 51.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – wages
Fast Food Theories Threaten Economic Health
Martin Hutchinson
The Bear's Lair, 4 June 2012

In a theoretical economic model, welfare might be optimized by eliminating immigration restrictions. But that could not happen by moving the Indian, Chinese and African population to the United States and raising their wages to U.S. levels, because they would not be sufficiently more efficient in a U.S. setting to support the higher wages. Instead, while the overall global average wage might be somewhat higher, most of the differential would be eliminated by U.S. wages falling to emerging market levels. U.S. politicians, responsible for the welfare only of the U.S. electorate, would be betraying their voters if they contemplated any such move.

In reality, any such mass migration would incur such huge assimilation costs that the theoretical benefits of leveling the playing field would be largely wiped out. However, that is not a counsel of despair. Free trade is not the same thing as free migration; the case for it is very much stronger. ... ...

Wage differentials between rich and poor countries are natural, caused by differentials in those countries' capital endowments, infrastructure and institutional effectiveness. Their natural level has been reduced by the Internet, and will doubtless be reduced further by future technological advances. But as far as possible, responsible Western policymakers should work to ensure that this reduction in differentials produces only improvements in emerging markets' living standards, without allowing it to immiserate their own people.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – education
Thousands of EU students owe £20 million in unpaid loans but just nine have been taken to court
Julie Henry
Sunday Telegraph, 3 June 2012

Foreign students owe millions of pounds in unpaid student loans – yet only nine have been taken to court to recover the debts.

Nearly half of all students from European Union countries, who can take advantage of subsidised student loans like British students, are failing to meet their repayments.

The data, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, will raise concerns that many EU students are effectively gaining a degree for free and that not enough is being done to recover the money.

Critics have warned that if tougher action is not taken, taxpayers' money will soon be "haemorrhaging" as unpaid debts mount.

According to official figures, 42 per cent of students from the 26 EU countries outside the UK who owe money after studying at English universities had disappeared or were in arrears as of last April. The total outstanding debt at the end of 2009/10 was £47.4 million.

If the thousands of students missing or in arrears never pay, more than £20 million would be lost to the Treasury. ...

EU students have been eligible since 2006 for loans subsidised by UK taxpayers to cover tuition fees, meaning the first payments were due in 2009.

Money owed by graduates living in the UK is recovered automatically through the tax system as soon as they earn £15,000, rising to £21,000 following this year's increase in tuition fees.

Outside the UK, however, there is no repayment mechanism. Officials have to rely on foreign graduates giving up-to-date information about their earnings and making their own payment arrangements.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – education
Immigration crackdown will damage universities, PM told
Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 30 May 2012

A Coalition crackdown on immigration risks deterring legitimate foreign students and robbing the country of billions of pounds worth of investment, universities warn today.

The heads of universities across Britain suggest that a toughening up of rules surrounding student visas may drive bright applicants towards institutions in other countries.

In a letter to David Cameron, they call on the Government to remove university students from net migration figures to help drive the economy and boost university income. ...

The letter has been signed by 68 chancellors, governors and university presidents, including those representing a number of elite Russell Group institutions, such as Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester, Warwick, Leeds, York, University College London and the London School of Economics.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – translation
Court cases hampered by translation failures
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 25 May 2012

Up to 50 court cases a day were delayed or postponed because of failures by a translation contractor to provide an adequate service, ...

The MoJ report also revealed the scale of the impact immigration has had on the courts system.

A total of 26,059 requests for translation services, covering 142 different languages, were made by the courts during the three months of February to April.

That is the equivalent of 290 a day, with criminal courts accounting for 53 per cent of them.

Four languages made up more than a third of all requests: Polish, Romanian, Urdu and Lithuanian.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – European Union
Go to Britain for benefits says EU
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 14 May 2012

Meddling Euro MPs have provoked fury by heralding a £4 million scheme to publicise Britain's lucrative benefits and health care system to people from across the Continent.

The money will be squandered on a campaign highlighting every citizen's right to move from country to country within the EU.

But commentators pointed out last night that the plan was an easy way of advertising Britain's soft-touch welfare system and could encourage millions of people to travel to the UK for access to it.

The publicity programme, contained in a report put forward by a Greek MEP, prompted howls of outrage among campaigners and raised fears of a fresh flood of benefit tourists descending on the UK.

Britain is already the destination of choice for tens of thousands of eastern Europeans every year because of our generous state handouts compared with their home countries.

Those from Romania, Bulgaria and other poorer countries in eastern Europe need only sell the Big Issue for a few weeks before they are entitled to claim thousands of pounds each month in child, housing and council tax benefits, tax credits and even disability living allowance and carer's payments.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – Turkey, European Union
Government launches battle against EU plan to open welfare system to non-member migrants
Jill Reilly
Daily Mail, 7 May 2012

Britain is launching a battle against EU plans to force the government to allow non-Europeans a benefit allowance.

They have been angered by an EU proposal to sign a deal with Turkey without Britain's agreement, which could mean Turkish citizens would gain access to the UK welfare system.

Chris Grayling, the employment minister, has told British officials in Brussels to argue against the plans later this month, which encroach further on British sovereignty.

He is concerned that the move will pave the way for welfare deals with other countries outside the EU. ...

The deal will not suddenly allow Turkish migrants to claim a pension - the UK already has a treaty with Turkey dating from 1961 which gives access to social security benefits.

Instead Britain's concern is the principle of the EU meddling – there are implications that once Brussels has gained power over who can receive benefits, it could be extended in the future.

In theory, this could mean citizens of other countries could claim benefits in Britain without the government's consent. ...

But the European commission said the deal would simply mean migrant workers were not put at a financial disadvantage when moving between states. ...

Some government officials see the move by the European Commission as sneaky - the Lisbon treaty, which became law in 2009, gave Britain the ability to agree or disagree on agreements between Brussels and non-EU countries.

But the commission is trying to push through the deal a part of the treaty that is usually reserved to govern relations between member states.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – health services
You must treat illegal immigrants or face legal action, GPs are warned
Sophie Borland
Daily Mail, 3 May 2012

GPs are being warned that they face legal action if they refuse to accept illegal immigrants as patients.

Human rights lawyers have been threatening doctors who have removed failed asylum seekers from their surgery lists – even though they are not entitled to free NHS care. ...

Refugees and asylum seekers are given free NHS treatment, but if their application to remain in the UK is turned down by the Home Office they lose the entitlement.

But government guidelines on when to provide free healthcare are vague and simply advise GPs to 'use their discretion'.

Figures obtained by Pulse magazine show that some hospitals are managing to claw back only a quarter of the costs owed to them by so-called health tourists.

Its investigation also revealed that one surgery in Essex had been ordered to reinstate two failed asylum seekers from Nigeria after being threatened with legal action by human rights solicitors. ...

Another practice in Leeds was also told not to remove illegal immigrants in the face of similar threats.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – health services
Foreign patients owe the NHS £40m
Daily Telegraph, 3 May 2012

More than £40m is owed to NHS hospitals by foreign patients who were not eligible for free care, research indicates.

Freedom of Information requests by Pulse, a magazine for doctors, revealed the average unpaid debt for the provision of care to foreign nationals was £230,000 in the 35 trusts which responded.

If this figure was the same across all 168 English acute trusts, the total debt would be almost £40 million, the magazine claimed.

The FoI requests showed St George's Healthcare Trust in South London had the largest outstanding debts, totalling £2 million from £3.55 million invoiced to foreign nationals for health treatment from April 2009.

Barnet and Chase Farm was next, with £488,000 outstanding from invoices worth £934,000.

The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals Trust collected 24% of the £419,000 owed to it, the figures showed. ...

Foreign nationals residing in the UK are entitled to free treatment on the NHS, but visitors from outside are expected to either have health insurance or the bill is sent to their country of origin. ...

The investigation comes days after campaigners warned GPs had too much freedom to register sick foreigners who may not be entitled to expensive British healthcare.

Migration Watch UK claimed family doctors could decide whether to take on patients without identity documents and give them free treatment which should not be available to them.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – housing
One in five council homes in London goes to foreigners
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 2 May 2012

One in five council homes is being given to foreigners in London, according to new figures.

Frank Field, a senior Labour MP, called on the Government to investigate.

In a letter to housing minister Grant Shapps, Mr Field said there was "a strong suspicion that long established citizens have had the rough end of the stick for too long".

Mr Field pointed to new National Statistics figures which showed that 20 per cent of all social housing in London taken by foreign nationals.

He said foreigners occupied 355,000 council houses, while Britons lived in 1.5 million, far higher than the proportion for newly let homes.

However Mr Field said the figures held by the Government were "too incomplete to draw meaningful conclusions".

Mr Field said: "There is a strong suspicion that long established citizens have had the rough end of the stick for too long. It is clear that the relevant statistics are a complete shambles so attempts to reassure them can only have been based on the most flimsy analysis.

"This very sensitive issue demands much more transparency and I look to the Government to see that it is provided."
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – health services
NHS risks becoming 'world health service' say campaigners
Martin Beckford
Daily Telegraph, 30 April 2012

The NHS risks becoming the "world health service" because even visitors to the country can claim free treatment, campaigners warn.

Ministers have confirmed that GPs do not need to ask prospective patients for ID or proof of address when registering them, raising fresh fears over "health tourism".

It allows foreign nationals who arrive in England on a six-month visitors visa to begin receiving health care immediately.

But the pressure group Migration Watch UK says that it could also mean illegal immigrants getting NHS treatment.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the organisation, said: "What this means is that someone getting off a plane with a valid visitors visa, is, in effect, able to access the GP services of the NHS without ever having paid a penny into the system. Over one and a half million such visas were issued last year.

"And once registered with a GP it is, in practice, an easy step to potentially highly expensive and long term treatment - all at the expense of the UK taxpayer with little or no prospect of the beneficiaries ever being charged for it."

He went on: "'It is clearly not the job of doctors to act as an arm of the immigration service but there are clear and substantial risks of abuse in such a lax system and controls must be put in place.

"The present situation is outrageous. Everyone knows the pressure the NHS is under and its ever increasing cost to the taxpayer. To allow such easy and potentially hugely expensive access without any entitlement must be stopped at once, otherwise the NHS risks becoming the 'World Health Service'."

The "lax" rules were confirmed in response to a parliamentary written question asked by Frank Field, the veteran Labour MP.

Simon Burns, the health minister, said that GPs can only turn away new patients if the local health trust has agreed they can close their lists.

He went on: "There is no formal requirement to provide documentation when registering with a GP. However, many GPs, when considering applications, request proof of identity and confirmation of address, but in doing so they must not act in a discriminatory way.

"A decision on whether to register a foreign national who has a six-month visitor visa is therefore currently for the GP to consider." ...

Recently the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, was criticised by Migration Watch for producing a booklet that makes it clear to new arrivals that they can access the NHS without documentation.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – health services, UK, European Union
EU migrants to get free healthcare here
Macer Hall
Daily Express, 27 April 2012

Britain was ordered by EU chiefs last night to give millions of foreigners full access to NHS healthcare.

In a move that could cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds, the Brussels-based European Commission insisted that immigrants from within the EU are entitled to stay and use the service indefinitely even if they do not pay UK taxes.

The Eurocrats ordered the British Government to scrap current rules stating that jobless EU citizens cannot stay in the country for more than three months unless they have their own health insurance.

"This breaches EU law," said a statement from the commission.

It insisted that "entitlement to treatment by the UK public healthcare scheme" was sufficient to allow migrants without health insurance to stay indefinitely.

The Government was given just two months to comply or face being dragged to the EU's European Court of Justice and hit with a swingeing fine.

And it was also instructed to go much further in giving full rights to EU citizens to live and work in Britain. ...

The latest onslaught from Brussels follows demands for Britain to give EU migrants rights to claim a string of welfare benefits.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling has vowed that the Government will fight that decision – which could cost taxpayers around £1 billion a year. The Commission also demanded that Britain allows non-EU relatives of EU citizens to travel to or apply for residency in the UK.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – housing
Frank Field: Introduce new tests for social housing
BBC, 16 April 2012

People who have made the "most contribution" to society should be given priority in queues for social housing, a Labour MP has urged.

Frank Field said long-term residents who had paid their rents and taxes should get "first choice" on the principle housing should be "earned". ...

Currently, certain groups are given priority when it comes to social housing, such as the homeless, the elderly and families with children - as well those with refugee status.

To be eligible for social housing, most new migrants must be from the European Economic Area, or have leave to remain in the UK and they must demonstrate they have "settled status". ...

The last Labour government said councils could exercise more discretion over housing awards, taking into account applicants' connections to the local community. But Mr Field said different councils had interpreted this in different ways, leading to inconsistency and confusion.

There was evidence that "good tenants were suffering" because others less deserving were "leapfrogging" them, he added.

"This is actually trying to say we should be much more careful, in any age of growing shortage of social housing and actually of welfare benefits, that those who contribute should not, as they are now, often find themselves discriminated against." ...

Official records show foreign nationals accounted for 8.6% of all new social housing tenants in England in 2010-11.

But the MP told the BBC that new tests should be applied, including how long someone had lived in an area, whether they had contributed to the community and whether they had paid their rents and taxes.

But Migration Watch - which campaigns for tighter immigration controls - believes the proportion of social housing going to foreign nationals may be "much higher" than indicated.

The group says that, while foreign nationals should be able to receive housing allowance, only British citizens should be allocated social housing.

It said statistics showed that in some London boroughs, such as Ealing and Haringey, the figure was higher than 40% in 2010-11.

It said the overall picture was confused because many councils did not record, or only partially recorded, the nationality of new social housing tenants and this should be compulsory in future.

A report commissioned by the Equality and Human Rights Commission in 2009 found there was a "lack of evidence" to back up suggestions that current rules favoured recent immigrants over UK citizens.

The Institute of Public Policy Research found that 90% of all social tenants were UK-born and those who had arrived in the UK in the previous five years made up less than 2% of all those in social housing.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – health tourism
Medical guide for migrants slammed
Guardian / PA, 11 April 2012

The document for refugees and migrants, which is available online in 20 languages, says general practices can register patients without any proof of identity and without the patient having to prove he or she is in the UK legally.

City Hall denied promoting health tourism or distributing the guide to illegal immigrants, but the campaign group Migration Watch UK branded the booklet an "absolute disgrace" and called for its immediate recall.

Sir Andrew Green, the group's chairman, said Mr Johnson risks turning the NHS into an "international health service paid for by the British taxpayer".

"To encourage this further pressure on an already overstretched service is an absolute disgrace and will be greeted with anger by UK taxpayers," he said.

"What other country in the world would register someone for free medical treatment without any documents at all?"

He continued: "From primary care it is a small (and poorly policed) step to secondary care in hospitals.

"We call on the mayor to withdraw the booklet and we call on the Government to take effective steps to restrict NHS access, except for emergencies, to those who have contributed to it."

A Greater London Authority spokeswoman said: "This booklet was designed to clarify for Londoners the existing NHS guidelines on how best to access healthcare.

"They have not been distributed abroad and City Hall does not promote health tourism."
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – welfare
£42m benefit bill for children who don't even live in Britain
Macer Hall
Daily Express, 4 April 2012

Bumper welfare handouts have made Britain an "extremely attractive destination" for migrants from eastern Europe, a scathing report on the benefit system warned last night.

Research showed that foreign workers from within the EU can potentially pocket hundreds of pounds a week from a string of benefits as soon as they arrive in the UK.

Latest figures show around £42 million a year in child benefit payments is handed out to migrant families whose children do not even live in Britain. ...

The role that Britain's benefits system – hugely generous by international standards – has on encouraging mass immigration was laid bare in a report from the population think-tank MigrationWatch.

Researchers pointed out that while newcomers are not immediately entitled to claim jobless benefits they can still pocket extra income from child, housing and council tax benefit as well as the tax credit system. With the sums paid out dwarfing average wages in Poland and other new EU nations, the welfare system was providing a huge incentive for migrants to target Britain.

The report showed that a single immigrant worker earning the minimum wage can expect up to £70 a week in benefits.

An immigrant family of four with both adults working can grab up to £360 a week, equal to £18,720 in a year. ...

Around 750,000 arrivals from Poland, Lithuania and other former eastern bloc countries now in the EU could be followed by even more as these countries struggle with difficult economic conditions, the report said.

Restrictions on benefit claims for the countries that joined the EU in 2004 ended last year, giving hundreds of thousands of immigrants full access to Britain's welfare state.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – house prices
Immigration can push down house prices Cambridge study suggests
John Bingham
Daily Telegraph, 28 March 2012

Immigration can push down house prices because it causes wealthier people leave, Cambridge University research suggests.

Even a small influx of people from overseas into an area can have a noticeable effect on the value of local properties as wealthy people move out, the study concludes.

The research, the first of its kind, contradicts the assumption that immigrants are pushing up house prices and making them unaffordable for those originally there.

In a paper presented to the Royal Economic Society's annual conference, Filipa Sá, an economist from Trinity College Cambridge, compares local employment figures from the Office for National Statistics with property records from the Land Registry.

She found than an influx of immigrants equal to one per cent of the local population was linked to a 1.6 per cent drop in average local property values.

This was because about 0.9 per cent of the local "native" population moved out – usually wealthier people.

Miss Sá said: "This finding can be explained by two factors. First, there is some evidence that immigration has a negative effect on native wages at the lower end of the wage distribution.

"Second, natives who leave the city are at the top of the wage distribution.

"This generates a negative income effect on housing demand and pushes down house prices in local areas where immigrants cluster."

The pattern only applied in areas where the arriving immigrants were poorer. In areas where those arriving from abroad came from the top of the income scale – such as in the City of London – the pattern was often the opposite.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – health services
Health boards in Wales write off thousands of pounds owed by foreign nationals
Madeleine Brindley
WalesOnline, 17 March 2012

Cash-strapped health boards have written off thousands of pounds owed by foreign nationals who have had treatment in Wales.

And new figures show the amount still unpaid has risen sharply as health boards struggle to collect the costs of emergency and routine treatment. ...

The figures, obtained by the Welsh Conservatives under the Freedom of Information Act, show almost £200,000 is owed by patients who live overseas but have been treated in Wales between 2008 and 2011.

In the same period, health boards have written off more than £185,000 of unpaid fees. ...

The figures show Cardiff and Vale and Abertawe Bro Morgannwg university health boards wrote off almost £100,000 of outstanding patient debts in 2010-11. The two health boards and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in North Wales have yet to recoup almost £150,000 in the same period. ...

Patients from countries all over the world including the US, Canada, Syria and the Philippines have undergone procedures ranging from kidney dialysis to CT scans and even brain surgery in NHS hospitals in Wales. ...

Some treatment, including that provided by A&E departments, family planning, compulsory psychiatric treatment and treatment for certain communicable diseases such as TB, is free for everyone.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs
Spear-toting carp poachers attack bailiff
Daily Telegraph, 11 February 2012

Eastern European poachers attacked a fishery official after he caught them trying to harpoon prized carp with 5ft bamboo spears. ...

Mr Stead, who is a fishery bailiff, approached the poachers at Stonar Lake in Sandwich, Kent. ...

The issue of immigrants, mainly eastern Europeans, taking freshwater fish to eat is said to be one of the greatest threats to British fisheries.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – housing
At last, action to put Britons first on housing list
Kirsty Buchanan
Sunday Express, 5 February 2012

New rules have been introduced to stop immigrants jumping the queue ahead of British families on the housing waiting list.

The Government has torn up a decade of Labour's disastrous social housing policy, which saw waiting lists double and numbers of foreign tenants in affordable homes rise by 40 per cent.

New guidance was issued to councils and housing associations last week, allowing them to set their own housing priorities.

It allows social landlords to allocate homes to local people and reward hard work and community endeavour.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps said Labour's social housing diktats had opened the door to "all kinds of abuses".

He said: "Councils and housing associations will be able to set their own criteria. That could include prioritising housing for local people. That strikes me as a perfectly sensible suggestion."

Labour's tick-box policy saw the number of foreign tenants in social homes top 1.1 million by 2009, while the number of British tenants fell by 1.2 million.

One in 10 state subsidised homes was handed to immigrants after the Home Office decided to house asylum seekers in freed-up social housing.

Thousands of British workers were driven out of the area they grew up in by the "open list" housing policy that placed need above all other criteria and allowed potential tenants to sign up to lists across the country.

The policy fuelled social division as working class families saw their hard work and local roots being torn up. ...

Reforms have become possible with short-term tenancies, outlined last November in a new Government housing strategy, called Laying the Foundations. It includes measures to stop abuse and fraud and deal with Labour's dysfunctional legacy of a waiting list of 5 million, 250,000 households in overoccupied social homes and 440,000 in under-occupied social homes.

Mr Shapps has launched a consultation on plans to make high earners living in social housing pay a full market rent.

He is proposing a threshold of £100,000, potentially affecting about 6,000 tenants who could afford to rent or buy normally.

He also plans to criminalise sub-letting of council homes, punishable by a fine of up to £50,000 or two years in prison.

Currently, up to 160,0000 tenants who are believed to sub-let their homes only stand to lose their tenancy if they are caught.

Mr Shapps also wants a ban on social tenants who own another property, currently said to number 60,000, and a consultation is to be launched on easier eviction for antisocial tenants.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – public opinion
Fears about jobs and welfare benefit claims
Macer Hall
Daily Express, 28 January 2012

A massive 78 per cent of voters want the Government to ignore Brussels rules that could entitle European Union migrants to claim welfare benefits in Britain.

Two thirds believe immigration from other EU countries over recent years has been bad for the UK.

The exclusive YouGov poll for the Vote UK Out Of EU campaign found overwhelming dissatisfaction among the public with the impact of Brussels on Britain's border controls.

It also highlighted widespread disquiet about the effects of European Court of Human Rights decisions on border controls.

Sixty-three per cent agreed that "a sharp reduction in immigration would be good for Britain's economy, because it would mean more jobs for British-born workers".

Fifty-six per cent thought EU freedom-of-movement rules had been bad because they prevented the Government from controlling immigration from other EU lands.

More than half (53 per cent) also thought only migrants with a track record of working in the UK and paying taxes should be entitled to claim welfare benefits.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – benefits
Rebuke for Duncan Smith over immigrant statistics
Joe Churcher
The Independent, 25 January 2012

Figures showing 371,000 immigrants were on benefits were rushed out by ministers with insufficient regard for "weaknesses" in the data, a watchdog has complained.

In a strongly-worded rebuke to Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, the head of the UK Statistics Authority condemned the handling of the research.

Despite being "highly vulnerable to misinterpretation", the claims were given to the media without the safeguards demanded for official statistics, Sir Michael Scholar said.

By issuing the figures to the press as a "research paper", the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) had bypassed the need to meet the usual code of conduct, he noted.

Sir Michael, who has led campaigns against Government spinning of official statistics, said the move had also allowed ministers to issue a "political commentary".

But he said it was hard to see how that position could be justified and called for assurances that any future release would be treated more carefully. ...

In a letter to Mr Duncan Smith, Sir Michael noted that the DWP's own website listed the research as statistics - and that it was based entirely on existing official information.

"These statistics are both highly relevant to public policy and highly vulnerable to misinterpretation," he said.

"There are some important caveats and weaknesses that need to be explained carefully and objectively to Parliament and the news media at the time of publication.

"This is, in our view, best done by official statisticians producing a statistical release in accordance with the Code of Practice.

"With these considerations in mind, I seek your agreement that any further publication of these, or of any such statistics, be handled as an official statistics release."
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – health services
London hospitals write off 'over 90%' owed by foreign patients
Jane Bradley
BBC, 25 January 2012

Some London hospitals have written off more than 90% of what they are owed by foreign patients not entitled to free NHS care, BBC London has learned. ...

In total, £7.6m was written off by 33 NHS trusts in the region, since 2009.

Across the trusts, a total of £26m is owed by patients, of which £18.4m continues to be actively sought.

However, hospital trusts said chasing the money was difficult if patients leave the UK. ...

NHS health care is free to everyone who needs emergency treatment, but patients whose normal residence is outside of the European Union have to pay for services, with certain exceptions.

A "health tourist" could be someone who visits the UK specifically for free health care, or they may already be living here and are trying to avoid paying their bill.

One senior doctor at a large London hospital, who did not want to be identified, said the problem of outstanding debt was much bigger than official figures show.

"It is probably about three or four times that figure," he said.

"These patients probably know somebody in this country. Very often they just take a plane and come to the first A&E department that deals with that type of condition and they know they will be treated because they are very sick."

He added: "Do I think we can afford it? No, I don't think we can." ...

There are no official figures to measure what some suspect is a problem that is under the radar.

However, some believe that "health tourists" do not exist and are a sensationalised phenomenon.

Naomi Hartree, a volunteer doctor at Project London, a clinic in east London which helps vulnerable people like migrants and asylum seekers access healthcare, says foreign patients are over-policed. ...

Project London also argues that chasing debt incurred by foreign patients is more expensive than writing it off.

Immigration powers introduced in November 2011 mean overseas patients who owe the NHS £1,000 or more will not be allowed to enter or remain in the UK until the debt is paid off.

The Home Office has said it was still too early to see what impact this was having.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs
One-third of Big Issue sellers now Romanian: Job once reserved for Britain's homeless has been swamped by Eastern European immigrants. And many of them have homes AND claim benefits
Nick Constable
Mail on Sunday, 22 January 2012

Through their determination to work themselves out of poverty, Big Issue sellers have won the hearts of the more fortunate, who happily buy the magazine in the knowledge they are helping those in genuine difficulty.

But over the past year or two, there has been a noticeable change in the appearance of the typical Big Issue seller, with women from the poorer parts of Eastern Europe, in their long skirts and headscarves, increasingly replacing the male, native British homeless people.

The situation was brought into focus last week when Romanian Firuta Vasile, a mother of four who sold the magazine in Bristol, was given the legal right to claim housing benefit on top of the other aid she already receives. ...

The Mail on Sunday launched an investigation to determine the full ramifications of this decision, and we have established that almost one in three Big Issue sellers – 700 out of a nationwide force of 2,250 registered vendors according to the magazine – come from Romania. ...

The newly opened benefits loophole has faced widespread condemnation. Particularly vociferous was the founder of The Big Issue, John Bird, who now advises the Government on its Big Society project.

Vowing that the organisation would root out sellers who were not genuinely in need, he said: 'We did not start The Big Issue as a means for people to top up benefits. I am not going to stand by and watch this organisation have a namby-pamby attitude to the poor. It would be like throwing away the last 20 years. If we find anyone going near the benefits system, we will expose them. It is appalling.' ...

Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said use of The Big Issue to obtain self-employed status had revealed a 'totally unacceptable loophole' which he was attempting to close.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – education
Thousands of EU students fail to repay loans
Julie Henry
Sunday Telegraph, 22 January 2012

Thousands of foreign students who have borrowed British taxpayers' money to study at universities in England are failing to repay their loans.

Official figures show that 45 per cent of students from European Union countries who were liable to start repaying loans had disappeared or were in arrears as of last April. ...

By contrast, only two per cent of UK students who were eligible to start repayments had disappeared or were in arrears. Many more had been permitted to defer their repayments because their salaries were below a set threshold.

Many of the EU students had returned to their home countries and either failed to inform the Student Loan Company (SLC) of their whereabouts or let their repayments drop.

The total outstanding debt liable to be repaid by EU borrowers at the end of 2009/10 was £47.4 million, according to the Department for Business (BIS), which published the figures.

If the thousands of students missing or in arrears never pay, more than £20 million would be lost to the Treasury. ...

Bahram Bekhradnia, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, said that non-repayment by overseas students was "inherent in the system."
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – benefits
Labour attack on 'nasty' Tories after number of immigrants on benefits are revealed
Kirsty Walker
Daily Mail, 21 January 2012

Labour has launched a furious attack on 'nasty' Conservative ministers for publishing statistics showing that 371,000 immigrants are on benefits.

It accused the Government of peddling 'dodgy' figures which revealed that benefits were wrongly paid to more than 5,000 migrants who had no right to claim state help.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling and Immigration Minister Damian Green, who published the statistics, said they demonstrated 'organisational chaos' in the immigration system.

The ministers went on to lay the blame on the last Labour government for its 'scandalous omission' in failing to keep records of the nationality of benefit claimants.

The figures showed that 371,000 working-age benefit claimants were non-UK nationals when they first applied for a National Insurance number, 258,000 of them from outside the European Economic Area. ...

However, Labour immigration spokesman Chris Bryant last night accused the Government of misleading the public.

He said that 98 per cent of the 371,000 claimants had an immigration status that entitled them to claim working-age benefits.

Mr Bryant added that the figures did not give any information on when the immigrants entered the UK, and said over half were now British citizens.

He went on: 'You see the nasty version of the Tory Party on these issues, because what the figures do show is that migrants into this country are more likely to be in work than British people.'

But he admitted that Labour had made mistakes with immigration policy.

He said: 'Yes, I think there were mistakes, but what Chris Grayling is trying to do is demonise both the Labour Party and migrants into this country.

'What we need is a mature debate on immigration. I want every single person in this country to be able to talk about migration issues rationally and sensibly without being accused of being a racist, but also without racism.'

Mr Bryant said 6.6 per cent of working-age non-UK nationals were claiming benefits, compared with 16.6 per cent of working-age UK nationals.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – benefits
The truth about 'benefit tourism'
Jonathan Portes
The Guardian, 21 January 2012

..., so what are we to make of the Daily Telegraph article, by Chris Grayling and Damian Green, which states that 371,000 migrants are claiming out-of-work benefits?

There is some more detail in the BBC's report on the study. It says that 371,000 people, out of a total of 5.5 million, who are claiming working-age benefits, were non-UK nationals when they first registered for a national insurance number; of these 258,000 were from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Of this latter group, 54% are now British nationals, so presumably the rest are not. ...

So, summing up these numbers in very rough percentages, we can say that migrants represent about 14% of all those of working age, only 7% of out-of-work claimants. In other words, migrants are about half as likely as non-migrants to be claiming out-of-work benefits. Much the same is true of people born outside the EEA (10% versus 5%).

This is hardly surprising, for structural and demographic reasons. Benefits come in two kinds: contributory benefits, and means-tested ones. It takes time to build up entitlement to contributory benefits like jobseeker's allowance, and to get means-tested benefits you usually need to establish permanent residency. Many migrants come here primarily to work, so are likely to be over-represented in the workforce relative to out-of-work benefits. And the age structure of the migrant population, and other demographic characteristics, probably make them less likely to claim benefits.

On fairness grounds too, this seems reasonable; we would hope and expect that migrants would be less dependent on the benefit system than people who'd lived here all their lives. But most people would probably agree that entitlement to contributory benefits should be based on national insurance contributions, rather than nationality, while, by and large, means-tested benefits should be reserved for long-term residents not short-term migrants. And that it is pretty much what this data suggests is happening.

This also appears to be true of public services more widely. ...

So what have we learned? As a result of our research for the MAC and the government's own research, we now know that, looking at the main elements of state spending – benefits, health and education, migrants impose less than proportionate costs on the state. This is consistent both with common sense and previous research, but is now much more firmly established by hard evidence. Nobody's looked in detail at pensions yet, the last big chunk, but there is no doubt that, for the same reasons set out above, migrants are less likely to be claiming state pensions.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – benefits
370,000 migrants on the dole
Robert Winnett
Daily Telegraph, 20 January 2012

More than 370,000 migrants who were admitted to Britain to work, study or go on holiday are now claiming out-of-work benefits, according to official figures compiled for the first time.

The migrants, who can claim unemployment, housing and incapacity benefit, are costing taxpayers billions of pounds a year.

In other countries, many would have had to return home after their visas expired or their employment ended.

But Chris Bryant, shadow immigration minister, today blamed the Government and said the situation would only get worse due to lax border controls, rising migration and increasing unemployment. ...

In the past, the nationality of benefit claimants has not been recorded. Ministers ordered a comparison of records held by the UK Border Agency, Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue and Customs.

The analysis found there were 371,000 foreign-born claimants for out-of-work benefits, out of a total 5.5 million recipients. Of these, 258,000 were from outside the European Economic Area.

Officials used data from applications for National Insurance cards, which require people to declare whether they are foreign nationals. Just over half have subsequently become British citizens.

People from outside the European Union can legally come to Britain to work, study or visit with a visa. If they stay for a certain period of time, marry or have children they can apply to remain permanently – after which they become eligible for state handouts. Asylum seekers can also be eligible for benefits.

European nationals actively looking for work can claim unemployment benefit. However, those from some eastern European nations can only claim after 12 months on a registration scheme.

In the majority of cases, ministers found that the migrants claiming benefits were eligible for the money. ... ...

The analysis found that the highest number of migrants on benefits originally came from Pakistan, Somalia and India. Bangladesh, Iraq and Iran also featured prominently. European countries among the top 20 for claimants include Poland, Ireland, France and Italy. ...

The Department for Work and Pensions has not made any estimate as to the total cost of the benefits claimed by the immigrants. Nor does the research cover those receiving the state pension, child benefit or other handouts.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – benefits
The foreigners being paid £2 billion in benefits a year including 371,000 on the dole (and 5,000 claiming £42m in illegal handouts)
Tim Shipman
Daily Mail, 20 January 2012

More than £2 billion is being claimed in benefits by foreigners every year, including thousands of illegal immigrants, figures reveal.

The Department for Work and Pensions announced a fraud investigation last night after it emerged 5,000 illegals claimed handouts worth £42 million to which they are not entitled.

Ministers acted after the first-ever study of claimants' nationality, which found 371,000 foreign nationals are on out-of-work benefits.

The study by the DWP found 6 per cent of all benefit claimants were foreign nationals when the data was collected in February last year.

Of those claiming benefits, 258,000 were from outside the European Economic Area, which includes the 27 EU countries as well as Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

But a follow-up exercise found 2 per cent of all claims by foreign nationals were made by those without the immigration status to justify the payments. ...

According to the figures, 54 per cent of non-EEA claimants went on to secure British citizenship. But the survey also suggests many are moving to the UK to take advantage of our generous benefits system.
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Benefits and costs – benefits
Labour didn't care who landed in Britain
Chris Grayling and Damian Green
Daily Telegraph, 20 January 2012
[Chris Grayling is Minister for Employment and Damian Green is Immigration Minister]

The last government had lax immigration and a chaotic way of controlling foreign benefit claimants.

Labour left our immigration system in a complete mess. Everyone could see that. Millions of people came through its open doors to the UK – sometimes in the backs of lorries, sometimes as students who never went home when their studies finished, sometimes as failed asylum seekers who were never asked to leave.

Hundreds of thousands more came from Eastern Europe when the European Union expanded. Other countries erected temporary barriers to immediate migration. Britain did not – and saw a wave of people come here to find work.

We knew all this when we took office, and we began work immediately, both to bring the numbers down and to tackle the organisational chaos. What came as a particular shock, though, was the way in which Labour had managed the interaction between our immigration and benefits systems. Quite simply, they had not linked the two at all. When parliamentary questions were asked about the number of overseas nationals who were claiming benefits, we couldn't answer. The information simply wasn't recorded. It was a scandalous omission.

The integrity of our benefits system is crucial to the reputation of our welfare state – to whether taxpayers feel that they are getting a fair deal. There's a natural instinct that says that no one from other countries should receive benefits at all. But if someone works and pays taxes here, it's not unreasonable that we should help out if they fall on hard times.

But we have to have a system that is fair and transparent, and which stops people receiving money that they should not be entitled to.

In the last few months we have been working together to tackle the problem. For the first time the Home Office and the Department for Work and Pensions are working together on this. We started with a programme of modification to our IT systems that means the nationality of all benefit claimants will be recorded when the new Universal Credit begins in 2013.

But waiting three years and doing nothing was not good enough. So we've done a complex research exercise to match information about people's nationality when they entered the country with the list of people now on benefits. As a result we now know that there are 371,000 people who were foreign nationals when they entered Britain who are claiming benefits. The majority come from outside the EU.

We've also done a further piece of work with a sample group of 9,000 of those people to find out more about them. We've tracked down three quarters of them, and most have a right to what they are receiving. ...

We've yet to track down the other quarter. ...
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Benefits and costs – benefits
Dog-whistling on migrants and benefits
Matt Cavanagh
New Statesman blog, 20 January 2012
[Matt Cavanagh is an Associate Director at IPPR]

Today's news has focused on the link between immigration and the benefits system, prompted by a joint op-ed in the Telegraph by ministers Chris Grayling and Damian Green, suggesting that too many migrants are claiming benefits.

..., we need to separate two questions. The first is whether there is a big problem with migrants claiming benefits illegitimately: as Grayling and Green put it, "we have to have a system that stops people receiving money that they should not be entitled to". The second is whether, even if they are entitled, the sheer scale or proportion of claims tells us something significant or troubling about the extent to which immigration is a burden or a benefit for the country.

The answer to the first question seems to be a clear "no": of the sample of migrants claiming out-of-work benefits who have been investigated, two per cent were found to be not entitled. ...

The second point about the sheer scale of claims relies on the large-seeming number of 370,000 migrants on out-of-work benefits, which the Telegraph duly turned into their front page headline. But seen in context, this number is less surprising. There are around four million foreign-born workers in the UK: that is about 13 per cent of the labour force – compared to 11.5 per cent of the population as a whole. As for the 370,000 migrants on out-of-work benefits, that represents about 6.5 per cent of the total number claiming such benefits. In other words, migrants make up more than their fair share of those who are working and paying taxes; and less than their fair share of those who are claiming out-of-work benefits: a finding which is consistent with numerous economic studies down the years.

... ...

In fact, Labour's approach was increasingly selective – and rightly so. But it is stupid or misleading to imply that any government could guarantee to admit only migrants who are never going to end up out of work. ... But in most areas of policy, we accept the need to take the rough with the smooth. Most migrants are net positive contributors. ... The great majority work, at an average slightly above the median, and pay taxes. They aren't entitled to claim benefits when they arrive, but after they have paid enough contributions, or been here long enough, they are. ... Again, the detail of Grayling and Green's article accepts this: "if someone works and pays taxes here," they say, "it's not unreasonable that we should help out if they fall on hard times". But the intervention as a whole is designed to suggest that the mere fact of large numbers of migrants claiming benefits, even if proportionately lower than for the population as a whole – and even in a recession – is a problem in itself.
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Benefits and costs – health services
The scandal of the NHS's blank cheque to foreign nationals
Julia Manning
Daily Mail, 3 January 2012

Hospitals in Kent are calling in debt collectors to chase up payment from foreign nationals who have received NHS treatment without being eligible for the care.

Publicised estimates are that nationwide we have £30m owing to us from patients who have come to the UK from non-EU countries. However I believe this is a massive underestimation of the problem, partly because most NHS hospitals have no idea of the amount of their financial losses.

Despite the law changing in 2006 making it legal for NHS Trusts to charge for treatment, many of them still don't ensure payment is made, even though in 2011 it then became a legal duty to collect fees.

The NHS is still known to be a soft touch; none of the staff like 'policing' care and are there is a reluctance to ask for upfront recompense even when they know people are not eligible. One GP from the south east told me that every week they have someone turn up at the practice who is not 'ordinarily resident' and therefore not entitled to free NHS care but they get it anyway. ...

Likewise we should rescind the right to have treatment on the NHS when you have simply been resident for 12 months. ...

We have become far too sentimental and soft, allowing exploitation on a regular basis. The NHS is funded by our taxes and it should be spent on those who have been promised the care they require in their hour of need. In the light of all the reports of our elderly being denied adequate post-operative care or dementia treatment, this lenient mentality shows a scandalous lack of concern for using NHS resources appropriately.
[Site link]



Bias – free speech, insults
We must be free to insult each other: Rowan Atkinson attacks new rules that outlaw 'insulting words and behaviour'
Daniel Martin
Daily Mail, 18 October 2012

Rowan Atkinson is demanding a change in the law to halt the 'creeping culture of censoriousness' which has seen the arrest of a Christian preacher, a critic of Scientology and even a student making a joke.

The Blackadder and Mr Bean star criticised the 'new intolerance' behind controversial legislation which outlaws 'insulting words and behaviour'.

Launching a fight for part of the Public Order Act to be repealed, he said it was having a 'chilling effect on free expression and free protest'.

He went on: 'The clear problem of the outlawing of insult is that too many things can be interpreted as such. Criticism, ridicule, sarcasm, merely stating an alternative point of view to the orthodoxy, can be interpreted as insult.'

Campaigners say the Public Order Act is being abused by over-zealous police and prosecutors. Section 5 of the 1986 Act outlaws threatening, abusive and insulting words or behaviour, but what constitutes 'insulting' is unclear and has resulted in a string of controversial arrests.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested under the legislation for peacefully holding a placard reading 'Scientology is a dangerous cult', on the grounds that it might insult followers of the movement.

Gay rights campaigners from the group Outrage! were arrested under the Act when they protested against the Islamist fundamentalist group, Hizb ut-Tahrir, which was calling for the killing of gays, Jews and unchaste women.

At the Westminster campaign launch, Mr Atkinson said he hoped repeal of Section 5 would be the first step in a project to 'rewind the culture of censoriousness' and deal with the 'outrage industry – self-appointed arbiters of the public good encouraging outrage to which the police feel under terrible pressure to react'.

He added: 'The law should not be aiding and abetting the new intolerance.'

Mr Atkinson was joined by Lord Dear, former chief constable of West Midlands Police, who plans to lay down a Parliamentary amendment to delete the word 'insulting' from the Act.

Lord Dear said: 'Section 5 wrongly brings the criminal law – and the police who must enforce it – into the realm of debate and dissent.'

Former shadow home secretary David Davis, a leading campaigner for civil liberties, said: 'The simple truth is that in a free society, there is no right not to be offended.

'For centuries, freedom of speech has been a vital part of British life, and repealing this law will reinstate that right.'

The campaign is backed by unlikely bedfellows The Christian Alliance and The National Secular Society, as well as Big Brother Watch, The Freedom Association and The Peter Tatchell Foundation.
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Bias – BBC
BBC to rethink its coverage of EU and migration after accusations programmes were unbalanced
Liz Thomas
Daily Mail, 11 October 2012

A BBC review of 'the breadth of opinion' reflected in its coverage of immigration, religion and the EU was triggered by complaints of liberal bias, Lord Patten has admitted.

The BBC Trust chairman said the investigation had been 'prompted' by accusations that elements of the broadcaster's news, current affairs and factual programming had been unbalanced.

The move could signal a greater range of voices and experts being included. ...

Similarly its reporting of immigration has been questioned, with some critics claiming it has tried to underplay the arguments against mass migration.

Even former director general Mark Thompson conceded that the BBC had been 'reticent talking about immigration'.

The new review will be published in 2013 and will take in audience research and views from the industry, as well as analysing content of programmes. ...

Led by former ITV and Sky executive Stuart Prebble, the review will investigate whether the broadcaster is doing 'all it can' to ensure impartiality.

Mr Prebble will investigate whether decisions to 'include or omit perspectives in news and current affairs coverage have been reasonable and carefully reached'.

He will also look at whether 'due weight' was given to a range of perspectives.
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Bias – religion, BBC
The TV elite 'assume Christians are lunatics'
John Bingham
Daily Telegraph, 13 September 2012

The BBC and other broadcasters are dominated by a "liberal secular elite" whose "default position" is to assume that Christians are "lunatics", a Radio 4 broadcaster warned last night.

In an outspoken attack, Roger Bolton, a former presenter of the station's Sunday programme, warned that those in charge of broadcasting suffered from a "suicidal" ignorance about religion. ...

Mr Bolton, who presents Radio 4's Feedback programme in which listeners air their views, said there was a growing view among the audience that Christians in particular were being treated unfairly in comparison with other faiths.

He said it appeared to be impossible to make jokes about followers of other faiths while Christians were viewed as fair game.
[Site link]


Bias – BBC
Here's how we counter the BBC's liberal bias
Daniel Hannan
Daily Telegraph, 15 August 2012

... We now have the official figures and it turns out that, by some margin, the most popular paper at the BBC is the Guardian. ...

All right, all right, there needs no ghost, my Lord, come from the grave to tell us this. The BBC places three quarters of its staff recruitment advertisements in the Guardian. You quickly learn, in politics, that putting a story in those pages is the surest way to get it on air.

Fair enough. After its fashion, the Guardian is a very fine newspaper: high-minded, articulate, a touch self-righteous, but no less readable for that. The trouble is that it gives only a partial view of events. All newspapers, like all people, have opinions; all newspapers, like all people, subconsciously assume that their opinions are facts.

The Guardian takes a number of assumptions for granted: police are racist, businesses are corrupt, Israel is wrong, US Republicans are extreme, the welfare system is ungenerous, immigration is desirable, austerity and growth are antonyms. All newspapers have prejudices, of course: they would be extremely dull if they didn't. The difference is that the BBC is taxpayer-funded and obliged by its Charter to be neutral.

Most BBC bias is unconscious and reflexive. ...

To its credit, the corporation has tried to correct the tendentiousness in its news and current affairs departments. Newsnight and the Today programme are far more pluralist than they used to be. Where the partiality lingers on is, well, everywhere else: fiction, comedy, consumer affairs.

As Ben Stephenson, the controller of BBC drama commissioning, put it a couple of years ago, the BBC should foster "Left-of-centre thinking".

And so it does. Drama series have plenty of plotlines involving racism and homophobia. ...

You don't have to look too far for an explanation. As Andrew Marr once put it: "The BBC is not impartial or neutral. It's a publicly funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities, and gay people. It has a liberal bias, not so much a party political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias."
[Site link]



Border controls
Theresa May orders new inquiries into UK Border Agency
Wesley Johnson
Daily Telegraph, 11 December 2012

The under-fire UK Border Agency faces two new inquiries, after Theresa May asked the watchdog to investigate its measures to tackle the backlog of asylum cases.

John Vine, the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration, has been asked to carry out two follow-up investigations after his damning report last month found the UKBA made virtually no effort to trace more than 120,000 asylum seekers and migrants.

One investigation will assess the agency's progress in dealing with some 70,000 reopened and live asylum and migration cases.

A separate investigation into the agency's new performance and compliance unit, its internal inspectorate, will also be established to ensure it is able to operate effectively.
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Border controls – Chinese, visas, asylum, crime
David Cameron overrules Theresa May to relax Chinese visa rules
Tim Ross
Daily Telegraph, 5 December 2012

David Cameron is relaxing visa rules to encourage more Chinese tourists to visit Britain, despite concerns that the move could fuel organised crime.

Theresa May's officials at the Home Office have warned the Prime Minister that easing checks on Chinese visitors could pose a threat to national security and bring Chinese criminals and asylum seekers to Britain.

However, the Home Secretary appears to have lost an internal Cabinet battle after Mr Cameron backed reforms to visa rules to help the UK tap into the "growth market" for tourists from China. ...

Mr Cameron's official spokesman said Britain had to make it easier for potential visitors from China to enter the UK or risk losing tourism and trade opportunities to other countries. ...

A leaked letter from Mrs May's private secretary showed the issue had escalated to the highest level of Government with the Home Secretary forced to answer questions from the Prime Minister about how to increase Chinese visits.

The letter pointed out there were already 400 Chinese criminals awaiting deportation and 1,000 asylum applications from Chinese citizens last year. ...

"We also face significant challenges with Foreign National Offenders and organised crime including drugs, money laundering, fraud, criminal finances, intellectual property, immigration and cyber crime."
[Site link]


Border controls – East Europeans
A million migrants from East Europe now live in Britain: That's 1.5% of the population of eight EU nations
James Slack
Daily Mail, 5 December 2012

The number of Eastern Europeans living in Britain is equal to 1.5 per cent of the population of their homelands, MPs were told yesterday.

The astonishing revelation effectively means that one in every 67 citizens of eight former communist nations has moved here.

Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovenia and Estonia all joined the EU in 2004 – giving them unrestricted access to the UK's labour market.

Since then, the number of immigrants from these 'A8' nations, which have 73 million people between them, has rocketed from just 94,000 to 1,079,000.

The figures emerged in a Westminster Hall debate on the impact of immigration from Eastern Europe.

Romanians and Bulgarians will also get free access to the UK jobs market from the end of next year when temporary restrictions are lifted.

Tory MP Philip Hollobone said that – if the experience with the A8 nations was anything to go by – the number of Romanians and Bulgarians living here will treble to 425,000.

'If we apply that same rate to the entry of Romania, with 21 million people, and Bulgaria, with 7 million, the 155,000 presently resident in the UK would climb to some 425,000,' he said.
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Border controls – education
UKBA staff failed to check thousands of tip-offs about overseas students
Margaret Davis
The Independent, 29 November 2012

UK Border Agency staff failed to check thousands of tip-offs about overseas students including whether they had actually enrolled on courses, a report said today.

Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration John Vine found that the UKBA had allowed a backlog of 153,000 notifications from sponsors of non-EU students to build up, including whether students had enrolled on courses or were turning up for classes.

This could potentially have meant that thousands were wrongly allowed to remain in the country, he said.

The tip-offs were all reviewed by May this year, but Mr Vine said it must be an "ongoing priority" to make sure checks are carried out.

His team examined work at three UKBA offices in Sheffield, Beijing and Delhi.

The report found: "The agency had no targets in place for responding to notifications made using the Sponsor Management System.

"As a result, notifications of changes to circumstances of students, details of students failing to enrol or attend classes, or curtailment of sponsorship were not being acted upon.

"Over 150,000 notifications had accumulated and were awaiting action, meaning that potentially thousands of students had retained leave to remain when they should not have done so. This was a significant failure."

However, Mr Vine said his findings were "generally positive" and that he was "pleased" that the agency had reviewed the notifications.

He said: "I was pleased to note that in May 2012 the agency had reviewed outstanding sponsor notifications and launched an operation to identify and remove people, including students, who had overstayed beyond the term of their visa. This should be an ongoing priority rather than the subject of a one-off operation by the agency."

Shadow immigration minister Chris Bryant described the report as "damning". ...

The report is the latest to highlight failures at UKBA. Last week Mr Vine claimed that the agency had supplied misleading figures to MPs over the number of immigration cases that had been archived.

He found that 33,000 cases had not been included in figures given to the Commons Home Affairs Committee.

The report also revealed that at one point 100,000 pieces of post were left unopened as staff struggled to deal with an immigration backlog.
[Site link]


Border controls – politics
Still not fit for purpose
Daily Telegraph, 23 November 2012
[Leading article]

More than six years have passed since the last government published a policy paper entitled Rebuilding Confidence in Our Immigration System. It was a response to the implosion of the Home Office's asylum and immigration service, which had been overwhelmed by a combination of Labour's failure to control the borders and administrative incompetence on an epic scale. The document set out to repair an arm of government which John Reid, then home secretary, said was "not fit for purpose".

It still isn't. Despite official promises to effect the swift removal of those who had entered Britain illegally, or whose asylum applications had failed, we now discover that the entire strategy was a sham.

This newspaper commented at the time that it was by no means clear how the Home Office's objectives were to be achieved. Beyond abolishing the sullied name of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate and turning it into the semi-detached UK Border Agency (UKBA), there was never any chance of attaining them. Instead, the bosses at UKBA simply pretended they were getting on top of the problem. John Vine, the independent inspector of borders and immigration, has discovered that the agency made little or no attempt to trace more than 120,000 illegal entrants, giving them an effective amnesty while denying this to Parliament.

True, the agency was dealing with a backlog going back years and budget cuts have also made life difficult. But the picture painted by Mr Vine's report – especially of boxes full of unopened mail – is ominously reminiscent of the shambles under Labour. Simply putting UKBA at arm's length does not relieve ministers of responsibility for this dysfunctional outfit. Theresa May, the Home Secretary, needs to get a tighter grip of it than she has so far demonstrated.
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Border controls – repatriation
UK Border Agency 'made no effort' to trace 120,000 missing immigrants
Wesley Johnson
Daily Telegraph, 22 November 2012

The UK Border Agency made virtually no effort to trace more than 120,000 asylum seekers and migrants, a damning report will say today.

The agency incorrectly reassured MPs that "extensive checks" were regularly being carried out, John Vine, the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration, said.

Because the agency said it could not find the individuals, it was able to move the cases into an archive and therefore clear its backlog before a deadline last year. The failures have led to asylum seekers and migrants who would otherwise have faced removal from the country gaining rights to remain in the UK, Mr Vine said.

Some 37,500 applicants whose cases were effectively written off as there was no apparent trace of them are now expected to be located after a review.

The agency was so overwhelmed with work that at one point more than 150 boxes of post, including letters from applicants, MPs and their legal representatives, simply lay unopened in a room in Liverpool, the report found.

Keith Vaz, chairman of the home affairs select committee, which was given misleading information by the agency's then-acting chief executive, Jonathan Sedgwick, said it was a "devastating" report which showed the agency was "in danger of overseeing an effective amnesty" for asylum seekers.

Calling for Mr Sedgwick to hand back bonuses of up to £10,000 a year, Mr Vaz added that misleading the committee was "an extremely serious matter".

The agency's current chief executive, Rob Whiteman, will also be asked to "check every fact and figure that he has given the committee over the last two years", Mr Vaz said.

In July 2006, John Reid, home secretary at the time, pledged to clear the backlog of cases within five years or less and a unit was set up to consider the applications the following year.

In February 2007, it emerged that the backlog consisted of up to 450,000 cases. The agency told MPs in March last year that it was on track to complete the work by the summer, adding that it was setting up a separate small unit to work on the outstanding cases.

Today's report said the unit's resources failed to match the amount of work remaining. ...

Chris Bryant, the shadow immigration minister, said the report was "utterly damning" and called for Theresa May, the Home Secretary, to explain why officials provided MPs with incorrect information. "She must also explain why her staff have been so slapdash in their attempts to track down failed asylum seekers," he said.

"She cannot hide behind others. This has happened on her watch.

"The Tory-led Government made big promises on immigration and changing the UKBA. But quite simply the UKBA and the split-off Border Force are getting worse and worse."
[Site link]


Border controls – employment
Britain relaxes visa rules for Indian professionals
Economic Times [India], 22 November 2012

Britain on Thursday relaxed immigration rules for foreign professionals, entering the country via the 'Intra-Company Transfer' (ICT) route.

According to the changes to immigration rules included in a statement in the House of Commons by Home secretary Theresa May, the length of stay for professionals entering the ICT category has been extended from five years to nine years.

The step has been taken in response to Indian and other foreign companies' concerns. ...

Immigration Minister Mark Harper said: "The UK is open for business to the brightest and best migrants and today's changes will ensure we remain an attractive destination for global talent". ...

Other significant changes include lowering the English language requirement for entrepreneurs over concerns that the high requirement was a possible deterrent to potentially successful businesses.

Besides, foreign students in Britain will be restricted from switching to the entrepreneur category due to concerns about abuse, the sources added.
[Site link]


Border controls – European Union
EU wants migrants to take our jobs
Macer Hall
Daily Express, 15 November 2012

Euro MPs will today call for even looser border controls to encourage a fresh wave of immigration into Europe – and Britain.

They will claim that many areas of the Continent face acute labour shortages that need to be filled with foreign workers.

Proposals include a relaxation of employment regulations so that millions more migrants – asylum seekers among them – can take up jobs within the EU, including the UK.

The Euro MPs also want Brussels to discuss further "social security co-ordination" to give migrants greater access to welfare benefits.

The proposals last night triggered fears that Britain will be hit by another population surge that will wreck the Government's attempt at restricting annual net immigration. ...

The issue is to be raised today at a meeting of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee in Brussels.

A draft report prepared by another group of Euro MPs claims Europe needs more immigrant workers because of economic pressures caused by an ageing population.

The document urges "a common European system to identify labour market needs, with a view to the improved targeting and management of labour migration".

It suggests the EU can help train migrants in relevant job and language skills before they leave their home countries. And it calls for greater "social security co-ordination" within the EU and with immigrants' native countries, effectively moving towards an international welfare benefits system.

The Euro MPs also call for EU nations to "link refugee and labour market and to give asylum seekers access to the labour market as quickly as possible".

This would overturn the UK's current ban on asylum seekers taking jobs. ...

The report says immigrants should get training to help "promote diversity at work". It urges EU member nations to "set up language and integration programmes to cover the history, values and principles of European democracy and the rule of law, highlighting the role of women, minority rights and the right of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) people".
[Site link]


Border controls – UK, European Union
Britain demands EU action to stop 'huge influx' of Balkans asylum seekers
Bruno Waterfield
Daily Telegraph, 25 October 2012

Britain will today support a demand from six European Union countries for visas to be re-introduced for people travelling from the Balkans after new free movement rules led to a massive surge in asylum claims.

This year, illegal immigration into Britain has worsened after over 14,000 people from Serbia and Macedonia have requested asylum within the EU's passport-free Schengen zone.

"Britain has felt the impact and supports action," said a British official.

Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria and the Netherlands will use a meeting of European interior ministers today to demand that the EU stop the tide. ...

Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia were granted visa-free status by the EU in 2009 and 2010 allowing their citizens to travel without papers in the passport-free Schengen zone. The concession was introduced as a step towards eventual EU membership.
[Site link]


Border controls – amnesty, asylum, illegal immigration, enforcement
Border chiefs give up trying to find 80,000 migrants: Backlog of 500,000 cases as just 1 in 10 is kicked out
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 20 September 2012

Border chiefs are preparing to 'write off' around 80,000 lost immigration and asylum cases.

The files were among nearly half a million found abandoned in boxes at the Home Office in 2006 in a major immigration scandal.

Since then officials have been working through the backlog to track them down, but are set to admit defeat and abandon around one in six cases.

More than 180,000 have already been given the right to stay in the country, in what has been described as an 'asylum amnesty'.

Just 41,300 have been kicked out of the country or left voluntarily.

This means fewer than one in ten have been removed.

Border Agency chief executive Rob Whiteman said it was 'not in the best interests of the taxpayer' to continue the search.

The latest move could mean tens of thousands more in effect allowed to stay in Britain. ...

In 2006, then Home Secretary John Reid admitted a backlog of around 450,000 immigration and asylum cases had been discovered.

It led to him describing the immigration system as 'not fit for purpose'.

Last year the UK Border Agency declared that it had cleared the backlog which is thought to total some 500,500 files, but it was forced to admit that 100,000 cases had been left in a 'controlled archive' – effectively put on ice.

MPs said this archive was a 'dumping ground for cases where the UK Border Agency has lost track of the applicant'.

A total of 180,900 individuals have been given the right to stay in Britain – many because they have been here so long illegally that they have started families.

As a result they qualify to stay under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act the right to a family life.

Around 170,000 have been written off as errors, deceased applicants or duplicates – where the case has been dealt with before.

Details of the decision to abandon the search emerged in a letter from Mr Whiteman to MPs on the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee.

In it he claimed that many of the individuals will have left the UK 'many years ago', but there is no proof they have departed.

Officials are searching against Government and other databases for evidence that they are still here, but expect to draw a blank in around 80,000 cases, which will then be closed.

Another 25,000 remain to be processed where the migrant has been found in this country.

Mr Whiteman told MPs the backlog of cases will be cut from 90,000 to 63,000 in October and the following month to 28,000. The remaining cases will be dealt with by the end of the year.

When the scandal emerged, the Daily Mail predicted around 160,000 would be granted the right to stay here in what amounted to an amnesty.

At the time, the prediction was dismissed as 'scaremongering'. But the figures reveal that even that prediction was too optimistic.
[Site link]


Border controls – amnesty, asylum, illegal immigration, enforcement
Fewer than 1 in 10 cases in asylum backlog led to deportation
Martin Beckford
Daily Telegraph, 20 September 2012

Fewer than one in 10 of the missing asylum seekers and immigrants uncovered in a huge Home Office backlog has been deported, new figures show.

The UK Border Agency has admitted it is giving up on attempts to find 80,000 foreign nationals who are still missing six years on, as it would cost too much money to keep staff looking for them.

It will mark the end of the scandal that broke in 2006 when it emerged that half a million asylum files had been left gathering dust in boxes at the Home Office.

The final tally shows that more than 180,000 people were allowed to remain in Britain after having their cases considered while just 41,000 were removed. Many others were found to have died and thousands of files turned out to be duplicates.

Officials will continue to search for 25,000 individuals who may be living in the country illegally when the other cases are written off. ...

It is estimated that the UKBA, which has come under sustained criticism for delays at airport arrivals and for relaxing checks on travellers, now has a total backlog of some 275,000 immigration and asylum cases that it has not resolved.

More than 150,000 of these records are known as the Migrant Refusal Pool, of people who once had the right to stay in Britain but whose leave to remain has since expired. A private firm is being given a contract worth up to £40 million to trace them.

There are almost 4,000 foreign criminals on the streets who should have been considered for deportation, more than 800 of whom have been at large for more than five years.

The other cases are the remainder of the 500,500 discovered languishing in the Home Office six years ago, not long after the Home Secretary at the time, John Reid, described his department as "not fit for purpose".

The majority of the asylum seekers and immigrants in this category have since been allowed to stay in Britain because they had settled by the time their cases were considered. The Home Office said 180,900 have now been granted leave to remain, 41,300 have been removed and 173,000 files were duplicates or for people who have since died.

Officials have still been unable to contact more than 100,000 of the individuals in the backlog – even though there are now 149 people working full-time in the Case Audit and Assurance Unit trying to trace them – and will now write off most outstanding cases.

Figures supplied to the Home Affairs Select Committee show that of the remaining files in the "controlled archive", 80,000 will be closed in December while the others will be put in the "live" database so the searches can continue. ...

Meanwhile an official report shows that only half of migrant families told to leave Britain by UKBA are doing so.

The Independent Family Returns Panel said that in the 106 cases it considered last year, the main obstacles were "family members not being present when the UK Border Agency sought to effect removal" and last-minute legal appeals.
[Site link]


Border controls – numbers, students, education
Now it's a U-turn on student visas: PM wants to relax rules preventing university migrants
James Slack and Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 9 July 2012

David Cameron is preparing to make a U-turn over foreign students after pressure from Liberal Democrat MPs.

Currently, non-EU students – arriving at a rate of 225,000 a year – are included in immigration statistics to reflect the way they add hugely to the population.

Ministers, who have pledged to reduce net migration to the 'tens of thousands', have been working on plans to slash dramatically the number of student visas given out.

Research shows that up to a quarter of them are not 'genuine' students.

But Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable, supported by universities and some figures at No 10, instead wants students to be removed from the immigration figures altogether.

This would mean there was no longer pressure on the Government to get a grip on non-EU student visas, which have been subject to rampant abuse in recent years.

The Home Office has been resisting the idea, which immigration minister Damian Green called 'absurd'.

But in a move which will enrage Tory backbenchers, it emerged last night that Mr Cameron is considering siding with Mr Cable, who says foreign students are worth billions to the economy.

There is a powerful faction inside Downing Street, understood to include Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood, urging the Prime Minister to head in this direction.

A source at No 10 reportedly said Mr Cameron 'understands' their arguments and is 'definitely considering a change of policy'. ...

The row comes after Home Office research showed that as many as one in four foreign students allowed into Britain may not be genuine.

Interviews with non-EU applicants revealed more than 25 per cent were not credible, but immigration officials were forced to let them in regardless.

The highest number of bogus entrants come from the Indian sub-continent, Burma, the Philippines and Nigeria.

Staff were left hamstrung three years ago when Labour stripped them of powers to block suspected bogus students.

Home Secretary Theresa May will today restore that discretion amid fears the move has created a huge loophole in border controls.

A Migrationwatch report found that foreign students are adding 75,000 to the population every year by not going home at the end of their courses. Some 25,000 of these remain here illegally.

The remainder either take jobs or are given permission to settle down with a partner or undertake further studies.

Last night, a Border Force spokesman said: 'We are clear that overseas students should remain part of the net migration figures.'
[Site link]


Border controls – illegal immigration
The Mr Big making a mockery out of the so-called immigration crackdown: Kurdish gangmaster will smuggle people into Britain for £2,000
Sue Reid, Figen Gunes and Faruk Zabci
Daily Mail, 30 June 2012

Standing on a patch of grass 46 miles across the Channel from the White Cliffs of Dover, a man in a designer jacket emblazoned with the words 'No Fear' is making a laughing stock of our Government's promises to stop illegal immigration into Britain.

He calls himself 'Fahruddin' and is the Mr Big of a multi-million-pound people-trafficking operation that every year smuggles 5,000 migrants from all over the world into Britain from northern France. ...

His activities make a mockery of claims by David Cameron that Britain's immigration controls have got tougher.

Fahruddin, an Iraqi-Kurd who successfully claimed asylum in Britain in 2007, in his early 20s, is making huge amounts of money as a people-smuggler, operating out of a makeshift camp on the outskirts of Dunkirk. ...

Once a week, local charity workers visit to provide food and clothing donated by the French public. ...

The system depends on the large communities of migrants already settled in Britain and who are willing to pay cash to get their relatives or friends to join them.

'They call England "Hope Land",' Fahruddin explained. 'None of the migrants here – whether they come from Iran, or Iraq, from Afghanistan, China or Turkey – want to settle in mainland Europe. They only want to go to England.' ...

I tracked down, for example, the three Turks who paid Fahruddin £9,500 to get to England ten days ago. They had reached his camp after a 2,000-mile journey in a vegetable lorry from Gazientep, a Turkish city near the Syrian border.

They are now part of the rapidly growing Turkish community in Britain, which tops 500,000 in London alone.
[Site link]


Border controls – European Union
Theresa May: we'll stop migrants if euro collapses
Robert Winnett and James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 26 May 2012

The Government is drawing up plans for emergency immigration controls to curb an influx of Greeks and other European Union residents if the euro collapses, the Home Secretary discloses today.

In an interview in The Daily Telegraph, Theresa May says "work is ongoing" to restrict European immigration in the event of a financial collapse. ...

The introduction of immigration controls within the EU would undermine a key part of the single market. However, it is allowed in "exceptional" circumstances under European law.

Controls are most likely to include restrictions on people seeking to work in Britain, who could be made to apply for visas.
[Site link]


Border controls – public opinion, Europe
Europe's Anti-Immigrant Voters
Bobby Duffy
Wall Street Journal, 22 May 2012

Majorities in France, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Spain and Germany want to reintroduce border controls.

Election campaigns often reveal politicians' perceptions of public opinion. The scramble for votes focuses their minds on what they think people want to hear. Recent elections in Europe have highlighted, among other things, that political leaders across the spectrum are now much more sensitive to public concerns about immigration. ...

Ipsos MORI's global poll of 24 countries on attitudes to immigration included nine European Union member states. In seven of them, the majority of those surveyed regard immigration as having had a negative impact on their country; Sweden and Poland were the only exceptions. Most citizens think there are too many immigrants in their country, and this tends to correlate most strongly with the perception that immigrants place a burden on public services. ...

And as such, the future of Schengen is in doubt – if you listen to the public, at least. Our survey found that a majority of citizens in France (64%), Belgium (62%), Italy (62%), Sweden (59%), Spain (54%) and Germany (51%) favor the reintroduction of border controls in the Schengen zone, while citizens of Britain, a country not even in Schengen, are the most in favor (74%) of increased controls on the continent. Only in Poland do more people oppose reintroducing border controls than support it. Among those in favor, the need to control immigration and improve security are the reasons most frequently cited.
[Site link]


Border controls – discrimination
Our border staff must be allowed to discriminate over which travellers they check
Alasdair Palmer
Sunday Telegraph, 6 May 2012

Blanket checks of pensioners and school children only result in long queues and bored officials. ...

Lack of technology is not, however, the source of the queues at airports. Those queues are not even the result of lack of manpower. They are rather the result of the Home Secretary's decision to require the Border Agency to check everybody. Theresa May ordered that policy following the discovery that checks had been patchy: Brodie Clark, one of the agency's senior officials, had decided to reduce queues by reducing checks on groups considered unlikely to be illegal immigrants, terrorists or bogus students. But this involved going against one of Mrs May's instructions. It also led to headlines suggesting that Britain's border controls had collapsed. The Home Secretary was furious, and ordered the immediate imposition of full checks on everyone.

That garnered some positive press. But it was a mistake. ... One official put it to me this way: suppose you have a coach-load of British pensioners coming back from a trip to France. Half of them use wheelchairs. You checked them on the way out and you know where each of them is from, how old they are and why they went on the trip. What is the point of getting them all out of the coach, and forcing each of them to show their passport to a border guard? There is no point. It's just a waste of scarce resources. But that's what the agency has to do at present.

Officials want to employ "risk-based" analysis: to use the information they receive daily, and their judgment, to decide who to check, and who to wave through. Trials suggest this method is much more efficient at catching bad guys than blanket checks, which result not only in huge queues but also in bored immigration officers who stop checking anyone properly.

The Border Force must be allowed to re-introduce risk-based checks so that those who are most likely to be breaking the law can be targeted. Doing so requires ensuring that the method is not condemned by judges as "discriminatory" and so against human rights law. But without risk-based checks, and the "discrimination" that they inevitably and necessarily involve, the queues will lengthen and the number of illegal entries will increase.
[Site link]


Border controls – public opinion
Airport Security: 90% Would Support Tougher Checks At UK Borders
Huffington Post, 5 May 2012

Almost 90% of people would support increased security checks at borders, airports and transport hubs, according to a survey.

While 89% would back more stringent checks, 64% said such measures were vital ahead of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the London Olympics.

In addition, 77% would support the installation of body scanners and 75% would back biometric checks such as fingerprinting, the survey by information technology company Unisys found.

The survey of more than 1,000 UK adults was conducted in February - before the recent problems of long immigration queues at Heathrow Airport.

The poll also revealed that 79% would like to see enhancements in the way information is shared between governments and security services to ensure public safety during this summer.
[Site link]


Border controls – human rights
New immigration rules will keep out human rights abusers
James Hall
Daily Telegraph, 30 April 2012

Foreigners who have been accused of serious human rights abuses will be banned from visiting the UK under tough new immigration requirements to be outlined today.

The measures will allow ministers to ban non-EU citizens from entering the UK where "credible" evidence exists of past or continuing human rights abuses by the individuals.

The measures will to be included in the Foreign Office's annual Human Rights Report, which is released today.

Currently people can only be prevented from entering the UK if they are viewed as a threat to national security. ...

The change has been driven by Foreign Office ministers and Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister. ...

The new immigration requirements will only stand when there is "independent" and "reliable" evidence that the person has been involved in human rights abuses. ...

However the new rules will not lead to a blanket ban on entry for human-rights abusing foreign officials, including heads of state.

It is understood that such people will still be able to visit the UK, so long as the trip is regarded as part of a policy of engagement on human rights.
[Site link]


Border controls – illegal immigrants, politics
Boris Johnson changes tack on immigration policy
Hélène Mulholland
The Guardian, 23 April 2012

Boris Johnson, the Conservative mayoral candidate for London, has urged ministers to get a "much tighter grip" on immigration, insisting that it "can't be beyond the wit of man" to sort the problem out.

The incumbent Conservative mayor adopted his new stance on immigration towards the close of a first mayoral term in which he has previously opposed Tory orthodoxy by calling for an amnesty on illegal immigrants in the capital.

As he faces re-election in May, Johnson appears to have fallen into line with Conservative party thinking, but rebukes the government for failing to do more to tackle the problem of foreigners illegally setting up home in London.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, Johnson said there were still "huge numbers" of illegal immigrants, which he said was "not fair on people who come here legally and are working very hard". ...

"I want a much tighter grip on immigration," he said. "It is really important for the country. It cannot be beyond the wit of man. We have a relatively small number of ports and airports. It should be possible to control it." ...

In 2009, he commissioned a study, conducted by the London School of Economics, which found that an amnesty for the estimated 618,000 illegal immigrants in Britain would provide a £3bn boost to the economy. More than two-thirds, 442,000, lived in London. The report dismissed fears that an amnesty would trigger further large-scale illegal migration, arguing that Britain's border controls would be an effective deterrent.
[Site link]


Border controls – education
Pakistani students face new visa test
Rowena Mason
Daily Telegraph, 13 April 2012

Pakistani students seeking British visas face new language tests after border checks suggested that as many as 40 per cent of them were lying on their application forms.

A new Home Office pilot scheme – introduced amid fears that thousands of bogus applicants were getting student visas – has sharply increased the number of applications being rejected.

Under previous immigration rules, people applying for student visas had their ability to speak English assessed mainly on the basis of their written application form.

Every year, around 10,000 visas are granted to students from the Asian country.

Following a sharp rise in the number of Pakistani applications, ministers ordered an increase in the number of applicants facing a "credibility test", a face-to-face interview with British officials.

The student visa system has until now been paper-based, so candidates only have to fill out application forms without any personal contact with officials.

About 20 per cent of candidates are already rejected on the basis of the paper forms, mostly with suspected poor English skills.

But the increase in face-to-face interviews on visa candidates in Pakistan found an additional 20 per cent do not have the grasp of English they appeared to have on their application forms, raising the overall rejection rate to around 40 per cent.

Further preliminary tests appear to show that the sit-down interviews can weed out bogus applications from 38 per cent of students applying in Bangladesh, 27 per cent from Sri Lanka, 29 per cent from India and 28 per cent from Egypt. ...

The revelation follows a deeply critical study by the National Audit Office last month. This study found a huge surge in students entering the country was largely fuelled by fake applications after a new visa system was introduced in 2009.

It estimated the UK Border Agency probably let through 40,000 to 50,000 illegal students in this year, largely from India, Bangladesh and China. Most of these people have never been traced.

The number of illegal immigrants who pretended to be in education is more than ten times higher than the previous estimates.
[Site link]


Border controls – European Union
Scheng-end? Germany wants border control in free travel zone
RT, 5 April 2012

The EU's cherished Schengen free movement agreement is now at stake with its largest member, Germany, calling for the re-introduction of border controls. Greece, which contributes 90 per cent of the bloc's illegal immigrant inflow, is first in line.

Germany is calling for EU member states to be able to temporarily ban neighbors who fail to effectively tackle the illegal immigration from the Schengen area.

Speaking to the national daily newspaper Rheinische Post, the country's interior minister said that while the open-border Schengen zone "means a lot for European sentiments," security should not be neglected.

The minister insisted that Germany must be able to temporarily control the internal borders in order to prevent the Schengen area from becoming an entry point for illegal migration.

Echoing his French counterpart Claude Guéant, Hans-Peter Friedrich mainly hinted at Greece.

Athens has long been accused of being a major gateway of illegal immigration into the EU. Since last year, the number of those seeking asylum in Europe has increased dramatically due to the mass inflow from the countries affected by the Arab Spring.

EU countries have become increasingly critical of Greece's lax border controls, especially with Turkey. According to Greek police statistics, as much as 90 per cent of illegal immigrants in the EU enter the bloc via Greece's territory.

In 2011, about 100,000 people were arrested for crossing the country's borders illegally. ...

In April 2011, France took the unprecedented move of restoring border controls with Italy after Rome granted temporary visas to thousands of African migrants. The move was latterly followed by Denmark, which set the customs check points on the borders with Germany and Sweden.
[Site link]


Border controls – education
Students visas abused as 50,000 enter UK for employment not studies
Owen Bowcott
The Guardian, 27 March 2012

Up to 50,000 people may have entered Britain to work rather than study in the first year of the government's student migration controls, a highly critical report by the National Audit Office (NAO) claims.

MPs called for the troubled UK Border Agency to "get a grip and fix the way it deals with student visas" after saying the report exposed one of the most shocking examples of poor management leading to abuse.

The NAO said the agency introduced a points-based system, known as Tier 4, in 2009 without key controls, potentially leading to tens of thousands of migrants entering the UK without any checks as to whether they were attending a college, and it did little to ensure that foreign students left the UK when requests to extend their stay were refused. The report called the flaws "predictable".

The agency withdrew entry clearance officers' powers to test applicants' intentions before it had controls in place over sponsor colleges, the report said. ...

"We estimate between 40,000 and 50,000 individuals might have entered through Tier 4 in its first year of operation to work rather than study.

"This estimate is based on college enrolment rates and changes in patterns of applications and refusals but it is not possible to know with certainty.

"Between March 2009 and February 2010, the [Border] Agency detected thousands of forged college visa letters at some application centres. The agency did not check that those who entered through suspect routes were attending college." ...

The Home Office has objected to the NAO's estimate of 40,000 to 50,000 individuals who may have entered the UK to work rather than to study, claiming that is not "robustly based".
[Site link]


Border controls – European Union, France
Nicolas Sarkozy can't blame illegal immigration on the EU
Simon McMahon
The Guardian, 17 March 2012

Last Sunday, Nicolas Sarkozy intensified his campaign for re-election as the president of France with a highly nationalistic speech in which he promised thousands of followers to use "all of [his] strength to make France stronger". In doing so, he also ramped up his rhetoric against immigrants, insecurity and the European Union, stating that he would "not allow the management of immigration flows to be in the hands of technocrats and the courts". For Sarkozy, European civilisation is under threat from illegal immigration, permitted by soft external borders in periphery countries and the eradication of internal border controls between member states. In order to save France, he has threatened to pull the country out of the Schengen agreement if an intensification of security measures is not realised. ...

However, in doing so Sarkozy also oversimplifies and misrepresents the EU's policies on border control and immigration. ...

The original Schengen agreement of 1985 was praised for enabling the free movement of citizens by abolishing border controls between member states. It was presented as a cornerstone for the construction of a European society. But critics stated that the abolition of checks between member states would also open the doors to illegal migration by taking away the ability of national governments to choose who enters and stays in their countries. A range of security measures were therefore introduced as a counterweight.

Today, migrants from outside the EU can be denied entry to member states for "not having enough funds" or if considered a "threat to public policy, internal security, public health or the international relations of any of the member states". Governments also have the freedom to reintroduce border controls for 30 days where there is "a serious threat to public policy or internal security", which has since 1995 been carried out repeatedly by various countries. Also, while declaring the abolishment of border checks between member states the EU has provided for an upgrading of security measures and controls within them.

A Schengen information system database on possible illegal or undesirable migrants seeking entry to the EU, the Eurodac fingerprint database of asylum seekers, a DNA database on potential criminals, terrorists and illegal immigrants, a common visa scheme and cross-border policing have ensured that the European Commission and national governments are able to keep track of who enters their countries, for how long and for what reasons. These governments can, of course, also still deport migrants, a measure which was extended by the EU free movement directive of 2004 to include EU citizens deemed to pose a threat to public policy, public security or public health.

Sarkozy's comments misrepresent the terms of the Schengen agreement and its related policies, which aim to maintain strong and effective security controls on the entry and activity of foreigners in Europe. Blaming Europe for illegal immigration also overlooks the fact that in France these controls must be put into practice by French border guards, police officers and judges. In short, if there is a problem of illegal immigration in France, then it is a French problem.
[Site link]


Border controls – loophole
France and Belgium refuse to close 'Lille loophole' which lets migrants slip into UK without a passport for less than £70 a time
Peter Allen
Daily Mail, 27 February 2012

France and Belgium have refused to close a Eurostar 'loophole' which allows illegal migrants to flood into the UK for less than 70 pounds, it emerged today.

The British government formally asked high-speed railway operators to stop selling tickets from Brussels to Lille, in northern France.

Because both the Belgium capital and France are within an area covered by the Schengen agreement – which allows borderless travel within certain European countries – people do not have to show their passport on the route.

This means that anybody can simply stay on board the train when it reaches Lille, and then travel on to London, where they can claim asylum or disappear into the black economy.

Yet when Foreign Office officials formally asked France and Belgian's national rail operators for the so-called 'Lille Loophole' to be closed in December, both said no. ...

In Lille, no-one checks whether passengers actually get off the train from Brussels, meaning they can continue their journey to London.

There are no passport checks for the vast majority of Eurostar passengers arriving at St Pancras Station either, meaning illegal entry into the UK is relatively easy.
[Site link]


Border controls
Border scandal: 500,000 passengers allowed to enter Britain without checks
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 21 February 2012

More than 500,000 people were allowed into Britain unchecked due to the repeated suspension of vital checks, opening up an "unacceptable" breach in the country's defences against terrorists and criminals, an official investigation has found.

At times immigration staff acted potentially illegally by relaxing the supervision of travellers entering this country at least 15,000 times in the last five years, John Vine, the independent inspector of the Border Agency, found.

Such was the confusion and mismanagement uncovered that Mr Vine raised concerns about security during the London Olympics. ...

Mr Vine last night said that ministers, senior officials and border staff must all share the blame for potential security breaches.

"There is a whole range of culpability," he told the BBC.

The 84-page report paints a picture of confusion, mismanagement and miscommunication.

"Overall, I found poor communication, poor managerial oversight and a lack of clarity about roles and responsibilities," he concluded.

Mrs May responded to the report by announcing that the UK Border Force would be split off from the UK Border Agency and made directly accountable to ministers. She also told MPs that the problems began under Labour.

"There is no getting away from the fact that UKBA, of which the Border Force is part, has been a troubled organisation since it was founded in 2008," she said.

However, Mr Vine's report suggested that relaxations of border checks have been more frequent and widespread under the Coalition.
[Site link]


Border controls
MPs 'shocked' by border check relaxations
BBC, 19 January 2012

A "highly troubling" breakdown of communication between officials led to UK border controls being relaxed too often last year, MPs have said.

The Commons Home Affairs Committee said it was "shocked" at the number of times checks had been waived when ports and airports became too busy.

It blamed the Home Office for a "lack of supervision" of senior staff.

Labour called the committee's report "damning"; the government said it would respond "in due course". ...

In its report, the committee said it was "very concerned" about the overuse of guidance issued five years ago on the Home Office Warnings Index (HOWI), a watch-list of suspected terrorists.

The MPs said they were "shocked" it had been invoked at least 50 times between May and July 2011 and a further seven times between August and October 2011.

The report said the guidance "might be being used inappropriately at local level as a management tool instead of an emergency provision".

It added: "The chain of communication from ministers to senior management to front-line staff of the UK Border Agency is a long and convoluted one, and it seems to have become seriously fragmented."

The report said that, however the overuse of the guidance came about, "a lack of supervision of senior staff at the UK Border Agency allowed the situation to continue".

However, the committee insisted that a pilot scheme giving border staff the freedom to make risk-based checks at the UK's ports "appears to have been a success" and "commends the effort to make a more targeted use of staff in this period of staff reductions".
[Site link]


Border controls – fingerprints
Minister admits illegal immigrants are no longer routinely fingerprinted
Daily Telegraph, 9 January 2012

Border staff have been instructed to stop fingerprinting illegal immigrants caught trying to enter Britain via the Channel Tunnel, it has emerged.

Documents confirm that stowaways found in vehicles at the Eurotunnel compound at Coquelles, north of Calais, are no longer subjected to routine fingerprinting.

The news is likely to increase pressure on Theresa May, the Home Secretary, who was embroiled in controversy over the secret relaxation of British border controls late last year.

The scandal led to the resignation of the UK Border Agency (UKBA) chief, Brodie Clark.

Damian Green, the immigration minister, has defended abandoning the "lengthy" process of taking fingerprints, saying UKBA staff were better served searching cars, lorries and coaches instead.

So-called "clandestines" caught at the border have been fingerprinted and handed over to French police since 2006.

Mrs May and Mr Green are under pressure to explain why the change to the policy had not been made public. ...

Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, described Green's letter as "astonishing" and said: "By not even bothering to fingerprint anyone, the government is sending a signal that this is not a serious offence and people should feel free to keep trying."
[Site link]


Border controls – employment, students
Scandal of 'open door' for foreign students
Padraic Flanagan
Daily Express, 2 January 2012

Thousands of foreign students could find it easier to stay in Britain after a landmark decision backed their human rights to a new life here.

In the latest blow to the Government's bid to reduce the scale of immigration, a judge decided that a cricket-playing migrant could stay because he had made friends and it would be distressing for him if he was sent home.

Politicians and campaigners last night said they fear the test case could open the floodgates to other foreign students hoping to settle in this country after finishing their courses. ... ...

The courts ruled that Mr Munawar, whose initial application was turned down by the Home Office, could continue to enjoy a "private life" in this country under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

But critics accused the courts of undermining attempts to control Britain's borders, arguing that almost every foreign student would be able to claim they have made friends.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said he was "disappointed" and was working to change the rules on immigration to end farcical decisions.

And Lord Tebbit, the former Tory minister who once proposed a "cricket test" to help identify whether immigrants had integrated into British life, described the case as "absurd".

Mr Munawar, who came to Britain in 2008, told the Upper Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber in London that he should be granted a new visa because he had partially completed his training and had a social life in Britain. Judge Susan Pitt said he had shown he played cricket at weekends, attended mosque regularly and had "formed friendships with fellow students and work colleagues".

The judge ruled that the Home Office's refusal of a visa "amounted to a disproportionate interference with private life that deserved respect".

Normally, foreign students are granted visas of up to three years and are expected to leave the country once they are up. In the 12 months to June, 271,000 student visas were issued. ... ...

Mr Munawar's legal adviser, Tamij Uddin, said he believed the appeal would set an important precedent.
[Site link]


Border controls – human rights
Cricket-playing student at the centre of new human rights row
David Barrett
Sunday Telegraph, 1 January 2012

Abdullah Munawar is an intelligent, hard-working and courteous 23-year-old trainee accountant.

But when judges considered his application to remain in Britain after completing a three-year degree course, they did not base their decision on what contribution he might make to this country.

Instead, their ruling that he can stay in the UK hinged on his cricket hobby and the friendships he has made here in the three years since arriving from his middle-class home in Bangladesh.

The case of the cricketing student now takes its place in the annals of unusual immigration decisions ...

But the real question raised by his legal victory is how it might be applied to other people in the future, and whether it will undermine the Coalition's commitment to cut immigration from the profligate levels seen under Labour.

I have analysed hundreds, if not thousands, of immigration cases for our End the Human Rights Farce campaign, and this case made among the thinnest arguments we have yet seen.

Indeed, immigration lawyers have expressed surprise at the evidence and the outcome.

Mr Munawar cannot be blamed for appealing against the Home Office's initial decision that he should return to Bangladesh. It was made under the points-based system, which was itself a flawed creation of the Labour government.

But we can question the way the immigration tribunal determines what amounts to "private and family life" - conferring a right to remain in Britain - and what does not.

Sixty years ago, with the horrors of the Second World War still fresh and raw, lawyers devised a set of principles designed to prevent a repeat of the Holocaust and other depravities. This was the European Convention on Human Rights, enshrined in British law under Labour's Human Rights Act in 1998.

In 1950, those lawyers did not set out to protect an immigrant's right to bowl a cricket ball on a Sunday afternoon, as in this case.

Nor did they agonise over any of the other absurd scenarios - uncovered by our campaign - which have also hinged on the convention, particularly the family life measures set out in Article 8.

Take, for example, Lionel Hibbert, a 50-year-old Jamaican criminal who fathered three children by three mothers within four months of each other, and later claimed he should not be deported because of his "right to family life".

British judges agreed, and overturned the Home Office's decision.

Or in another recent example, the violent drug dealer Gary Ellis, 23, also from Jamaica, who convinced a court he had a stable family life with his young daughter and girlfriend, when in fact she split up with him years ago and refused to allow him in her home.

The courts' willingness to believe these stories, and attach inappropriate weight to them, is a major problem in our immigration system.

Another is the Home Office's inability to investigate each person's family life claims, so that misinformation goes uncorrected.
[Site link]



'Citizenship is 'being given too easily' and migrants don't really care about the UK', says councillor
Rob Parsons and Simon Freeman
Evening Standard (London), 6 July 2012

A London councillor today reignited the debate about the way that British citizenship is awarded by claiming that too many applicants who cannot speak English properly are qualifying.

Peter Golds, who sits on Tower Hamlets council and has handed out hundreds of citizenship certificates in east London in the past six years, said he feared that the achievements of thousands of deserving migrants were being "cheapened" by the lax standards applied in some cases.

He said that some people that he had witnessed receiving citizenship spoke very poor English or were "not really interested" in the ceremonies.
[Site link]


Citizenship – anchor babies, Canada
Changes would take away automatic citizenship
Mark Dunn
Toronto Sun, 23 February 2012

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says the government is considering citizenship law changes to prevent so-called anchor babies from automatically becoming citizens.

Kenney says his department is not sure how widespread the problem is of foreign women duping the system by coming to Canada on tourist and visitor visas for the sole purpose of having a child.

"This is not a new phenomena. We have been aware of this happening for some time," Kennedy said in Vancouver where he announced changes to speed up the recognition of foreign credentials.

"In fact ... hospital administrators in Montreal have raised the problem with me that they have seen a growing number of people ostensibly as visitors giving birth to children and immediately leaving without paying their hospital bill."

Kenney was reacting to reports in Canada and Asia that pregnant Chinese women are coming to Canada to have a baby so the child is a citizen.

The Chinese fraud is mostly based in Hong Kong where bogus immigration agents are coaching wealthy mainlanders how to keep their pregnancies hidden while entering Canada.

All babies born in Canada are considered citizens - meaning they could return later in life as students, for example, and sponsor their parents under family reunification applications. Many other countries do not grant automatic citizenship to babies born to foreigners.

Kenney could not say if the problem is widespread outside the Chinese community.

"We don't want people to get the idea that citizenship is a way to get a passport of convenience, that Canada is a country to be exploited," he said.
[Site link]



Crime – rape, Italy
52% of Rapes in Rome Committed by Immigrants, 59% in Milan, 40% in Italy
Daniel Greenfield
FrontPage Mag, 26 December 2012

Immigrants account for only 6 percent of Italians, but for an impressive 40 percent of Italy's rapes. 6.3 percent of the rapes in Italy are carried out by Moroccans. The numbers really pack up around urban areas.

In Rome, immigrants are responsible for 52 percent of rapes. In Milan the number goes up to 59 percent. 8 percent of the rapes in Milan are carried out by Egyptians and 7 percent by Moroccans. In Bologna, 53 percent of the rapists were immigrants, of whom 11 percent were Moroccans.

Romanian immigrants still top rape statistics due to the huge number of Romanians who moved to Italy and make up nearly a fifth of its immigrants. But the Romanians do not make up more than a fifth of rape statistics in any city, meaning that despite the seemingly high numbers, Romanians are actually proportionally underrepresented in Italy's rape statistics.

While there are nearly a million Romanians in Italy, there are only half as many Moroccans, but when it comes to rape statistics, Moroccans are only a few points behind Romanians.

Nationwide, 7.8 percent of rapists are Romanians and 6.3 percent are Moroccans, meaning that even though there are only half as many Moroccans as Romanians, they manage to account for only 1.5 percent fewer rapes.
[Site link]


Romanian gang who caused travel chaos after stealing FOUR MILES of railway cable worth £500,000 are jailed for 23 years
Amanda Williams
Daily Mail, 20 December 2012

Eight Romanian men who stole cable from remote rural railway lines and replaced it with cheap shop bought wire are today beginning combined prison sentences of 23 years.

The men, aged between 19 and 36, plundered rural stretches of the railway line between Evesham, Worcestershire, and Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, causing chaos for commuters.

Birmingham Crown Court heard the organised gang travelled from their homes in the Handsworth and Smethwick areas of Birmingham to target isolated countryside lines. ...

The court heard between 3 November 2011 and 24 May 2012, the gang struck at least 22 times, always at night, and stole a total of about 6,000 metres of cable.

The thieves cost Network Rail between £450,000 and £500,000 to replace and repair the cables and also fines incurred to train operators as a result of the delays and disruption caused.
[Site link]


Crime – theft
Lithuanian gang which stole lead from church roofs and left a £1m repair bill are jailed for total of 20 years
Mark Duell
Daily Mail, 14 December 2012

Britain's most prolific church lead theft gang were today jailed for a total of more than two decades after they left the Church of England with a £1 million repair bill at 20 churches across three counties. ...

They made almost £70,000 from selling stolen lead over nine months in 2011, but six of the gang were arrested after being linked to the offences through sales of stolen metal to recycling yards. ...

Investigators believe the gang were the main reason for the high number of church thefts last year in Lincolnshire, when 186 religious buildings were hit - making it the second most affected county.

Raids have fallen 90 per cent since their arrests, with just 19 churches suffering lead theft in 2012.

Between 2007 and 2011 over 14,000 cases of church lead theft were reported across the country, costing the Church £32 million. That compared with just 20 thefts a year between 2000 and 2004.
[Site link]


Crime – Pakistanis, migration
Millions of Pakistanis went abroad illegally since 2009
The Peninsula - Qatar, 26 November 2012

During the last about three years, over 17 million Pakistanis went abroad illegally in search of employment, it was learnt yesterday.

According to documents, in 2009 as many as 4.3 million people left the country illegally. In 2010, the number reached 4.5 million touching the five million mark in 2011.

And during the first eight month of 2012, about 3.4 million Pakistanis had migrated to other countries without legal documents. ...

An officer of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) requesting not to be identified said that human trafficking was the biggest illegal business all over the world. "Smuggling of drugs and weapons is on the second and third number," he maintained.

He said there were three routes used for human smuggling. The 905-km-long Pakistan-Iran border is the most frequented for human trafficking. After crossing into Iran, these people move on to Turkey and then enter Europe, he said.

The second route is through the Middle East. Many people go to the Middle East on fake documents. From there, they travel to Europe on fake documents and apply for asylum.

The third route used for human trafficking is through Russia. People manage to reach Kazakhstan and then enter Bulgaria and central Europe, said the FIA officer.
[Site link]


Crime – sex gangs
Sex gangs report 'will play down threat of Pakistani men targeting white girls'
Steve Doughty
Daily Mail, 17 November 2012

An official inquiry into child sex gangs will fail to highlight the targeting of white girls by Pakistani men.

Instead the year-long Government-backed investigation will say that child sex abuse is a problem caused by men of all backgrounds in towns and cities across the country.

The findings of the inquiry by Sue Berelowitz, the Deputy Children's Commissioner for England, are likely to anger ministers and provoke disbelief among those who have observed and investigated cases of abuse of teenage girls in towns in Lancashire and Yorkshire.

The inquiry into child sexual exploitation by gangs was launched more than a year ago, but its investigations became more urgent this summer following the convictions of nine men in Rochdale for their roles in a child sex ring which groomed young white girls for sex.

The men, eight of Pakistani origin and one from Afghanistan, received jail sentences of between four and 19 years.

In September, police documents revealed that in Rotherham officers ignored evidence of large-scale sex crime by 'networks of Asian males exploiting young white females' which dated back more than a decade. ...

A spokesman for Miss Berelowitz said there would be no comment on the report until it is published next week. But a senior political figure with long experience of trying to combat sex gangs said there is a specific problem with groups of young Pakistani men, and that Miss Berelowitz would be wrong to ignore it.
[Site link]


Crime – foreigners, London
Foreigners make up more than a quarter of London's crime suspects
Evening Standard (London), 9 November 2012

More than a quarter of all criminal suspects arrested in London are foreign nationals with around half coming from the EU, Scotland Yard revealed today.

Intelligence also shows around 1,400 foreign suspects are classified as "high harm offenders" with links to gangs, violence, sex offences or burglary.

The figures emerged as Scotland Yard revealed details of a joint operation with the UK Border Agency to target the 200 foreign nationals arrested every day in the capital.

Police have drafted in immigration officials to all of its 72 custody suites in London to help gather intelligence on foreign suspects.

The figures show that in the five weeks since the Operation Nexus was launched the Met arrested a total of 25,968 people, of whom 6,988 were identified as foreign nationals.

Of these 155 were immediately identified as breaching immigration rules and detained by the UKBA. Around a quarter of these people have already been deported. Forty three of the 155 were arrested for violence, 13 for sex offences, 18 for drugs and 27 for theft.

Intelligence shows that around 1,400 are high harm offenders who are associated with crimes including gangs, violence, sex offences or burglary.

Around 25 per cent of London's most dangerous gang members and about 15 per cent of sex offenders are foreign.

Flags are placed on 'high harm' suspects to prevent them getting British citizenship.

For the first time British embassies abroad are also using the Nexus databases to block visas for 'high risk' individuals with a history of violence and crime. ...

About half of all foreign nationals arrested in London are from the EU and the Met is building closer links with police forces in Ireland, Lithuania, Poland and Romania, countries with a high proportion of people arrested.

Further afield police say countries such as India, Somalia and Jamaica have high numbers of nationals arrested in London.
[Site link]


Crime – fraud
'This is outrageous abuse of hospitality': Judge's anger as he jails family of Ugandan fraudsters who stole £4 million in benefits to buy luxury homes and restaurants in Africa
Christian Gysin
Daily Mail, 2 November 2012

A judge accused a family of African fraudsters of an 'outrageous abuse of the hospitality' shown to them by Britain as they were jailed yesterday for stealing £4 million from taxpayers.

The 20-year scam included one of the fraud ringleaders creating fake identities for up to 100 children to milk the benefits system.

Ruth Nagubuzi also claimed to have HIV and Aids in order to receive costly drugs which she then sent back to Uganda for huge profits.

It was estimated that supplying the medicines to the 49-year-old, as well as four other made-up 'sufferers', cost the taxpayer more than £2 million.

A further £154,000 went on education for members of the 'family', with £37,500 for a single higher education course.

Fraud relating to accommodation costs and sub-letting of flats by Nagubuzi cost £650,000, and the family's benefits including child allowances, disability benefits, and council tax and tax credits totalled £900,000. ...

Yesterday eight of the group were sentenced to a total of 19 years by Judge Nicholas Ainley at Croydon Crown Court in South London.

He told Nagubuzi: 'This was a fraud on a huge scale and it is an outrageous abuse of the hospitality you were offered by this country when you came here in trouble.

'The identities you used and no doubt sold were then used by other people. You had no scruples in bringing children to this country and then involving them in your criminal pursuits. This was motivated entirely by greed. All these identities were, for you, valuable commodities.'

The use of so many names to perpetuate the fraud led one investigator to remark: 'The true figure of what these people stole from us may never be known. It could be in excess of £6 million after they launched a systematic assault on our welfare system.' ...

Yesterday those found guilty were joined in the dock by four other gang members who had earlier pleaded guilty to numerous offences.

The other guilty fraudsters included Nagubuzi, who managed to claim £2,280,000 in HIV/Aids medication for herself and in four other identities, which investigators believe she has sold for vast profit in Uganda. ...

Nagubuzi came to the UK in 1991 and claimed asylum for herself and four children she had left in Uganda. Three years later she used the name Jane Namusisi to apply for asylum again – along with two more children. In 1999, using the name Pauline Zalwango, she applied once more, this time with three children.
[Site link]


Crime – deportation
Ipswich: Outrage as criminal cannot be deported because she's a criminal
Colin Adwent and Richard Porritt
EADT, 1 November 2012

An inability to deport a criminal because she would be shunned for her criminality in her homeland, was today branded an "outrage" by Ipswich MP Ben Gummer.

While stressing it would never be right for a politician to criticise a judge, Mr Gummer was aghast the current human rights laws have allowed Ai Vee Ong, of Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich, to successfully fight her deportation to Malaysia. ...

Ong, was jailed for four years for exploiting illegal immigrants and other offences. ...

An earlier appeal for Ong to remain in the country was thrown out on the grounds the judge regarded the public interest in Ong's deportation as substantial, although her risk of re-offending was low.

Ong appealed and Judge D E Taylor of the Upper Tribunal has now overturned the decision, allowing Ong to stay in Britain.

It was said Ong's removal would interfere with her right to a private and family life in the UK, and deportation would not be proportionate.

The court heard Ong had not told her family about her conviction, because she would be disowned due to the shame and disgrace.

Part of Judge Taylor's conclusion read: "Mr Liew also states that they could not build a new life together in Malaysia because they would be discriminated against because of the Appellant's criminal record."

"I accept the evidence that the couple would find it very difficult in reality to go back to Malaysia with the stigma of her being a criminal and the problems which he would have establishing a business there, and becoming accepted in the Chinese community there when his wife is a convicted criminal."
[Site link]


Crime – European Union
Spain dismantles Pakistani human trafficking ring, 31 October 2012

Spanish police said on Wednesday they had smashed a human trafficking ring in Barcelona, arresting 18 people suspected of smuggling around 1,000 Pakistanis every year into the European Union.

Officers have "dismantled a criminal organisation dedicated to the trafficking of illegal immigrants of Pakistani nationality," local police said in a statement.

The victims had paid between 600 and 15,000 euros ($800 and $20,000) each to be smuggled into Barcelona and other European cities, local police said in a statement, adding that the network had operated for at least seven years.
[Site link]


Crime – deportation
Just 62 out of 11,000 foreign prisoners have been kicked out despite Cameron's pledge of crackdown
Daniel Martin
Daily Mail, 27 October 2012

Just 62 foreign criminals have been sent home under the Tories despite David Cameron's pledge to remove thousands from British jails.

The Prime Minister promised a crackdown two years ago after it emerged that more than 11,000 foreign inmates – one in eight prisoners – are clogging up our jails.

But official figures released this week show that fewer offenders are being deported than when Labour was in power.

Since January last year, only 62 have been sent home to serve the rest of their sentences – 25 to just one country, the Netherlands.

Just 30 were returned in total last year – far less than the 89 in 2010 and 64 in 2009. Each inmate costs taxpayers £45,000 a year – meaning the total bill is over £500 million.

Current agreements prevent the authorities from sending prisoners home without their consent. Although Mr Cameron pledged in November 2010 to tear up such agreements, only one has since been renegotiated – with Saudi Arabia. None of its nationals has been sent back.

As of June 30 this year, there were 11,861 foreign inmates – 12.6 per cent of the total – serving time for offences including murder, burglary, drugs, assault and rape.

Parliamentary figures show Jamaica has the most nationals in our jails, with 900 inmates, followed by Poland with 750, Ireland's 737 and Nigeria's 594.

Despite this, not a single prisoner has been returned to Jamaica, while three have gone back to Ireland, and just one has been sent to Nigeria and Poland.

Labour's justice spokesman Sadiq Khan, who uncovered the figures, said: 'David Cameron claimed back in 2010 that he would "personally intervene" to send more foreign criminals back home. But these figures I have uncovered show this Tory-led Government is sending back fewer foreign criminals than before.

'Breaking promises is becoming the trademark of this incompetent Prime Minister.

'The progress made under Labour has been reversed, leaving the taxpayer with a bill of over half a billion pounds a year.'
[Site link]


Crime – human trafficking
Human trafficking to UK 'rising'
BBC, 18 October 2012

The number of people being trafficked into the UK is rising, latest government estimates suggest.

Last year the authorities learned of 946 victims, compared with 710 in 2010, the inter-departmental ministerial group on human trafficking said.

Trafficking gangs in China, Vietnam, Nigeria and eastern Europe now pose the biggest threat to the UK, it said. ...

There is currently no official figure for the number of victims trafficked into the country each year.

However, the report said 712 adult victims and 234 child victims were reported last year to the National Referral Mechanism, the official body that identifies and looks after those caught up in trafficking.

Of the victims referred in 2010, 524 were adults and 186 were children.

It is thought the increase could be explained by improvements in identifying victims, although campaigners say the figures of those being trafficked could be far higher as many victims choose not to come forward for fear of being deported.

The report suggested an increase in the number of children being forced into crime, including street begging.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre estimates there are about 300 child trafficking victims in the UK every year. ...

Det Insp Kevin Hyland, of London's Metropolitan Police - which sees the UK's highest rates of trafficking - said some victims travelled to the UK in lorries or containers but the majority arrived lawfully, often accompanied by their traffickers.

"The vast majority of them think they're coming to a better life in the UK," he said. ...

There are an estimated 92 organised crime groups in the UK with known involvement in human trafficking, it said.
[Site link]


Drunken Eastern European sea captains endanger waters, judge warns
Daily Telegraph, 17 October 2012

Judge Michael Mettyear said a message needed to go out to all captains [that] the behaviour of Viatcheslav Poleshchuk, 44, who downed a bottle of vodka before trying to set sail meant prison in UK courts.

Poleshchuk twice rammed lock gates with his 30,000 tonne ship at Goole and even asked police: "Can I have another go?"

The captain had more than four-times over the drink drive limit. He had 157 milligrams of alcohol in breath when the legal limit is 35.

Judge Michael Mettyear who initially jailed Poleshchuk for a week at Hull Crown Court said: "I am not saying for a moment all East European captains are guilty of this, but all the case law of drunken sea captains provided by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency enforcement unit feature Eastern European captains. ..."
[Site link]


Crime – bogus marriages
Gang behind phoney weddings racket in Pakistan face prison
Yorkshire Evening Post, 16 October 2012

A sham marriage gang based in Yorkshire has been brought to justice after staging fake weddings in Pakistan so men from the country could illegally enter the UK.

Eighteen members of the Rotherham-based gang now face jail over the "commercial operation", although two suspects are on the run.

Czech and Slovak women living legitimately in the UK were paid by Asian organisers to fly to Pakistan where "marriages" were arranged with Pakistani nationals, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

Following three trials, which can only now be reported after restrictions were lifted, seven defendants were found guilty of conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration to the UK between January 1, 2009, and New Year's Eve last year.

Another 11 defendants pleaded guilty to the same charge.

Applications for visas were submitted to the British High Commission in Islamabad by Pakistanis seeking leave to join their "wives" in the UK.

The phoney weddings included brides posing for photographs with their "grooms", with the pictures then submitted in support of visa applications along with false documents.

But suspicions over the growing number of applications led to the criminal ring being smashed and none of the 62 fraudulent visa applications were granted. ...

False documents were traced back to an address in Broom Grove, near Rotherham town centre, the semi-detached home at the time of the alleged organisers, Talib Hussain, 41, and Tariq Mehmood, 27, Rahina Zaman, 32, and Veronika Horvathova, 21.
[Site link]


Crime – USA
MS-13 gang labeled transnational criminal group, a first for US street gang
Howard LaFranchi
Christian Science Monitor, 12 October 2012

For the first time, a street gang operating in the United States has been officially designated a transnational criminal organization, empowering officials to more aggressively target the group, Mara Salvatrucha MS-13, which engages in the drug, sex, and human trafficking trades.

MS-13 is an El Salvador-based gang that over three decades has developed into a violent criminal force from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.

Naming the gang a transnational criminal organization suggests how the group has evolved from being primarily a criminal element in Central American immigrant communities to a regional organized crime network delving into a range of illegal markets, experts in North and Central American crime patterns say. ...

"This action positions us to target the associates and financial networks supporting MS-13, and gives law enforcement an additional tool in its efforts to disrupt MS-13's activities, said David Cohen, Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, in a statement announcing the designation.

"MS-13," Mr. Cohen said, "is an extremely violent and dangerous gang responsible for a multitude of crimes that directly threaten the welfare and security of US citizens, as well as countries throughout Central America."

The gang has grown to include more than 30,000 members, with branches operating in Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, according to the Treasury. The FBI estimates the gang's membership to be much higher.

At least 8,000 MS-13 members – often identified by elaborate tattoos that incorporate the gang's name – operate in 40 states and the District of Columbia, Treasury officials say.
[Site link]


The 200 foreign suspects arrested each day by Met: But as figures soar, number of deportations falls
Chris Greenwood
Daily Mail, 8 October 2012

Almost 200 foreign criminal suspects were arrested every day by the country's largest police force last year.

Just over 72,500 – a third of the total arrested – were held by the Metropolitan Police and questioned about crimes including murder, rape, robbery and fraud.

The figure is up almost a quarter on two years ago when 58,870 non-British suspects were arrested in London.

The rise emerged as Scotland Yard revealed it has drafted in immigration officials to all its 72 custody suites in a drive to target foreigner suspects.

Senior officers are determined to deal more effectively with the huge numbers of foreign nationals clogging up the criminal justice system.

They want UK Border Agency staff to help send home those wanted abroad or who fail to comply with the 'good behaviour' conditions of their residence.

But some fear that EU nationals caught and convicted in Britain can simply return to this country after serving their sentences abroad.

The latest figures were revealed in a Freedom of Information request which showed 72,505 foreign suspects were arrested last year in the capital.

This included 79 on suspicion of murder, 708 for rape, 1,863 for robbery, 2,801 for fraud and 2,489 for burglary.

Another 2,742 were arrested because they were wanted by police, 7,524 for shoplifting and 2,516 for drink-driving after crashing their vehicle.

The rising trend is mirrored elsewhere, with the country's second largest force, West Midlands Police, arresting 11,801 between April 2011 and March this year.

That is an increase of more than half on the previous 12 months when 7,716 foreign suspects were held.

Meanwhile, the number of foreign criminals who were convicted and deported countrywide fell from 5,342 in 2010 to 4,649 in 2011.

Senior police in London believe that at least one of five of the 'highest harm' offenders in the capital are non-European nationals who could be deported.

They include violent gangsters, organised criminals involved in fraud and racketeering, and predatory sex offenders.
[Site link]


Crime – sex gangs
Muslim community in 'denial' about grooming rings, says Jack Straw
John Bingham
Daily Telegraph, 28 September 2012

Members of the British Asian community are in "denial" about the issue of men of Pakistani origin grooming white girls for sex, the former Home Secretary Jack Straw has claimed.

He said that the scandal, exposed by the trial of nine Asian men jailed for grooming and sexual abuse of white girls in Rochdale, raised a problem which had to be "faced and addressed" within some communities in northern cities.

He was speaking after a damning report into the handling of abuse allegations in Rochdale by social workers, police and the Crown Prosecution Service which highlighted a catalogue of failing and "missed opportunities".

The study, by the Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children's Board, found that social workers repeatedly failed to take action in response to complaints from under-age girls who had fallen into the grip of a paedophile ring.

Rather than being treated as victims, they were viewed as "problematic" and "wilfull" and thought to be "making their own choices". ...

Speaking after the publication of the report yesterday, he dismissed claims that the problems uncovered by the Rochdale report affected all communities.

"There is an issue of ethnicity here which can't be ignored," he told BBC Radio 4. ...

A spokesman for the Network of Sikh Organisations added that it was not accurate to describe the grooming rings as an "Asian" problem.

"It is something tat the leaders of the Muslim community, the Pakistani community, need to address," he said.
[Site link]


Crime – sex gangs
Police turned a blind eye to sex grooming gangs for more than a decade, confidential files reveal
Rob Preece and Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 25 September 2012

Police turned a blind eye to allegations of sexual abuse of white girls by gangs of largely Pakistani men for more than a decade, it was claimed yesterday.

Research, reports and case files also revealed that council officials were desperate to cover up any racial link to the abuse of young girls.

The research shows that a string of warnings dating back as far as 2000 were ignored by the authorities. In many cases, police action was taken only against the victims.

Among the alleged crimes for which no one was prosecuted were: ...

According to previously confidential documents seen by The Times, police in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, found evidence of thousands of similar crimes and described 'networks of Asian males exploiting young white females'.

The groups were reported to have trafficked victims to cities including Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham.

Despite this, just two prosecutions of groups of men for sexual abuse have taken place in South Yorkshire since 1996.

In 2002, Home Office-funded research criticised officers for treating young victims as 'deviant and promiscuous' while 'the men they were found with were never questioned or investigated'.

Revealing the fears over the racial element to the abuse, a 2010 report from the Rotherham Safeguarding Children Board said the crimes had 'cultural characteristics ... which are locally sensitive in terms of diversity', but warned of 'sensitivities of ethnicity with potential to endanger the harmony of community relationships'.
[Site link]


Crime – Asian sex gangs
Asian sex gangs operated for a decade in Rotherham as authorities refused to acknowledge the problem, chilling police files reveal
Rob Preece
Daily Mail, 24 September 2012
[This report was updated the next day]

Asian sex gangs were able to groom, pimp and traffic girls across the UK for more than a decade while authorities failed to publicly acknowledge the problem was happening, confidential documents reveal today.

A dossier of internal police, social services and intelligence reports shows that agencies in South Yorkshire were aware that vulnerable girls were being abused, but a catalogue of alleged crimes were not prosecuted.

In one case, a white girl who was sexually abused by an Asian gang from the age of 12 was offered lessons in Urdu and Punjabi by her local council after her ordeal.

Rotherham Council proposed the lessons to the girl, who was known by social services to have been sexually exploited, in an attempt 'to engage' her in education.

The documents show that authorities were aware of a problem of offenders, largely men of Pakistani heritage, sexually exploiting vulnerable girls, but never publicly acknowledged that it was happening.

A child welfare expert, speaking under condition of anonymity, said the agencies' reluctance to tackle street-grooming networks was 'the biggest child protection scandal of our time'.

The papers, which emerged today outline many cases of alleged sexual exploitation for which no one was prosecuted, including: ... ...

Among the papers is a confidential 2010 police intelligence report warning that thousands of sexual exploitation crimes are committed in South Yorkshire each year. ...

The report, seen by The Times, states that such groups are believed to have trafficked victims to other cities and towns, including Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham, Bradford and Dover.

Another confidential 2010 report, for the Rotherham Safeguarding Children Board, warns against drawing too much attention to the ethnic origin of the alleged abusers.

It states: 'Great care will be taken in drafting...this report to ensure that its findings embrace Rotherham's qualities of diversity. It is imperative that suggestions of a wider cultural phenomenon are avoided.'
[Site link]


Crime – trafficking, children
Human traffickers bring children to Norway
Julie Ryland
The Norway Post, 20 September 2012

Human traffickers bring an increasing number of children to Norway that they plan to use for criminal activities and prostitution. There has been an increase in the number of smuggled children from Africa to Europe and Norway. Police attorney Rudolf Christoffersen informs that police often run into cases now where people have taken advantage of children by forcing them to commit criminal acts.

Children have been used to sell drugs and sex, Christoffersen explains. They have also been forced to work, beg and to perform other criminal activities.
[Site link]


Eastern European criminals blamed for surge in migrant offences
Richard Alleyne
Daily Telegraph, 13 September 2012

Eastern European criminals see Britain as "rich pickings" and are thought to be behind a surge in offences committed by migrants last year.

Foreign nationals being arrested for some crimes including robbery, burglary and theft have more than doubled in the period, figures show. In general, crimes committed by those born abroad has increased by 53 per cent.

An investigation has discovered increasing numbers of foreign nationals being detained by West Midlands Police, the country's second biggest force, which is already struggling to cope with unprecedented cuts of £125 million. ...

The figures obtained by a local newspaper under the Freedom of Information Act show that 7,716 foreign suspects were arrested by the force between April 2010 and March 2011. But that figure rose to 11,801 between April 2011 and March this year.

Of those arrested, 2,629 were for violence against the person, a rise of more than 600 from the previous 12 months.

Foreign nationals were also detained for almost 400 sexual offences, up from 271, while robbery and burglary arrests more than doubled; up to 486 from 239 and up to 533 from 254 respectively.

Romanians were the most prolific offenders last year, with 1,329 detained. Indians were the second most likely to be arrested, with 1,156 arrests.
[Site link]


Crime – trafficking, children
Trafficked children in UK council care 'going missing'
BBC, 12 September 2012

Some children trafficked into the UK are going missing from local authority care, a Council of Europe report says.

It says there are indications that increasing numbers of people are being brought into the UK for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labour.

The council raises particular concerns over a lack of secure and suitable accommodation for trafficked children who end up in local authority care.

It calls for better trained supervisors or foster carers for them.

The Council of Europe's Greta (Group of Experts on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings) says reports suggest a "significant" number of trafficked children in local authority care go missing and some end up rejoining those who exploited them in the first place.

Its report says hundreds of people have been identified as victims of trafficking in the UK but only 56 people were convicted of human trafficking in 2009 and 29 the following year.

The common countries of origin were China, Vietnam, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Albania, Nigeria, Uganda and India, the report says.

Children tended to be brought in for the purposes of sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, benefit fraud, cannabis farming and forced begging and stealing.
[Site link]


Crime – human trafficking, people smuggling
People smugglers target their victims as organ donors and house slaves
Jamie Doward
The Observer, 26 August 2012

The first official assessment of human trafficking in the UK reveals the increasingly diverse reasons people are being smuggled into the country, including domestic servitude, sexual and criminal exploitation, and organ harvesting.

The United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre's 2011 baseline assessment concludes that 11% of victims were trafficked for the purposes of domestic servitude; 1% for organ harvesting; 5% for multiple exploitation; 17% for criminal exploitation; 22% for labour exploitation; and 31% for sexual exploitation. The remaining 13% were trafficked for reasons unknown.

The report, which is compiled from information submitted by police forces, the Gangmasters Licensing Authority, the UK Border Agency and other organisations, suggests that last year some 2,077 potential victims of human trafficking were identified in the UK.

The picture that emerges contrasts strongly with the popular perception that trafficking is predominantly for the purposes of prostitution. ...

The five most common countries of origin for victims of trafficking were Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Nigeria.

The assessment reported evidence that 99 UK citizens were trafficked within the UK last year, of whom 52 were trafficked for sexual exploitation, with more than 80% identified as female children. However, an Observer analysis of trafficking figures recorded by the Serious and Organised Crime Agency's National Referral Mechanism database provides an alternative snapshot.

Between 1 April 2009, when the database started recording trafficked incidents, until March 2012, the latest set of figures available, some 2,445 people were suspected, or were found, to have been trafficked into the UK.

The figures reveal 1,566 were female, 596 were male and the remainder were children. Some 431 people were believed to have been trafficked from Nigeria, compared with 255 from Vietnam, the second most active trafficker of people to the UK. China was the third largest trafficker, responsible for bringing a suspected 224 people to the UK.

Europol, the international police agency, has identified Nigerian organised crime as one of the largest law enforcement challenges to European governments. In many cases, Nigerian victims are trafficked after a friend or family member offers a child a chance for a better life abroad. ...

A 2010 report by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre identified the trafficking of Vietnamese children into the UK as another key trend. The majority were forced to work in cannabis farms, with others being exploited in brothels and nail bars, or pressed into committing street crimes such as selling illegally copied DVDs or breaking and entering.
[Site link]


Crime – visas, Chinese
Theresa May blocks Chinese visa plans over organised crime fears
Rowena Mason
Daily Telegraph, 16 August 2012

The Home Secretary is blocking plans by her cabinet colleagues to make it easier for Chinese tourists to get visas amid fears it will lead to a rise in organised crime, according to a leaked letter.

Theresa May has warned Downing Street that relaxing checks on Chinese visitors would pose a threat to national security and bring Chinese criminals and asylum seekers to Britain.

Her intervention comes after senior cabinet ministers, led by Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary, raised concerns that tourists are being put off coming to Britain by a difficult and expensive visa system.

Mr Hunt's call to simplify the regime is understood to have been supported by George Osborne, the Chancellor, and Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, amid complaints from Chinese businesses.

A leaked letter from Mrs May's private secretary shows the issue has escalated to the highest level of Government with the Home Secretary forced to answer questions from the Prime Minister about how to increase Chinese visits.

It also reveals that she has rejected Mr Hunt's proposals to let Chinese visitors in tour groups get European and British visas at the same time.

Mrs May claims that checks in Europe "do not match the UK decision quality" and claims the British visa controls are a "key tool in protecting the public against significant harm".

The letter also points out there are already 400 Chinese criminals awaiting deportation and 1,000 asylum applications from Chinese citizens last year.

"The proposal... is not acceptable to the Home Secretary for national security reasons. At Cabinet the issue of asylum claims was discussed," the letters says.

"We also face significant challenges with Foreign National Offenders and organised crime including drugs, money laundering, fraud, criminal finances, intellectual property, immigration and cyber crime."

Her tough line on immigration has opened up a rift with Mr Hunt, who this week promised to improve visa application system to help triple the number of Chinese tourists by 2015. ...

Government statistics show Britain is losing out on this trade with only 147,000 Chinese tourists last year compared with 1.2 million going to France.

The European system, known as Schengen, allows tourists to enter 25 countries on one visa.
[Site link]


Crime – multiculturalism, political correctness
Witchcraft child abuse: social services and police 'cowed by political correctness' claims minister
John Bingham
Daily Telegraph, 15 August 2012

'Political correctness' is preventing police from stopping child abuse by parents and church leaders who believe in witchcraft, a minister warns.

Tim Loughton, the children's minister, said that a "wall of silence" was obscuring the full scale of cruelty in some communities where beliefs in evil spirits was common.

He was speaking as the Government announced plans to introduce new training for social workers, teachers, police and church members to combat the abuse. ...

In London there have been 81 recorded cases of children being abused as part of religious practice over the past 10 years but police and church groups are convinced it is under-reported.

Previous research suggests that the practice is not confined to African communities and exists in different forms across southern Asia and parts of Europe within some Christian sects but also some Hindu and Muslim communities.
[Site link]


Crime – race, culture, multiculturism
The 2011 English summer riots revisited [part 1]
David Starkey
Daily Telegraph, 6 August 2012

"Humankind cannot bear very much reality." T S Eliot's dictum might have been written for the riots of last summer, whose first anniversary falls this week. ...

... For something rather odd started to happen, even as events were unrolling: we were told, with increasing firmness, not to believe our own senses.

It was obvious from the beginning, to anybody with eyes to see, that these were riots in which the race of many of the participants played an important part. Black commentators were especially clear about this. "These riots were about race. Why ignore the fact?" declared Katharine Birbalsingh in her blog for The Daily Telegraph. Darcus Howe, the veteran black activist, was even more emphatic. "It's an insurrection," he told The Huffington Post, "of a generation of poor, primarily black people from the Caribbean and from Africa."

What could be clearer? Too clear, perhaps, for the political class and the mainstream media who, led by the Prime Minister, began an extraordinary exercise of what, with reference to George Orwell's Newspeak, we might call New Sight. Firmly donning his magic spectacles, which rendered him unshakeably colour blind, David Cameron proclaimed the new truth: "It wasn't race riots".

He was echoed from the other end of the political spectrum by Max Wind-Cowie of the Leftish think-tank Demos, who asserted even more confidently: "This is not about race at all." And so the chorus swelled.

There were of course a few obstinate souls who stuck to the old way of seeing. But they were firmly slapped down. ... ...

A stop should have been put to this nonsense by the publication of the official report into the riots. Instead, shamefully, it perpetuated it. The Riots Communities and Victims Panel subjected the 3,000-odd people brought before the courts to every sort of analysis: by age, previous criminal record, educational achievement, employment, family structure and so on. There was one glaring omission: there was no tabulation of ethnicity. Nevertheless, and having rehearsed no evidence whatever, their report still repeated the official mantra: "We do not believe that these were race riots."

Indeed, the only official document to present the proper, unvarnished picture is "The Statistical Bulletin of the Ministry of Justice on the Public Disorder of 6th-9th August 2011". And it is incontrovertible: 41 per cent of those charged were white, 50 per cent black or mixed race, 7 per cent Asian and 2 per cent Chinese or other. These figures must of course be read against the proportion of the various groups in the population as a whole: in London, to which some two thirds of the cases relate, some 12 per cent of the population is black and 69 per cent is white. Whites, in other words, were significantly under-represented among the rioters; while blacks were four times over-represented.
[Site link]


Crime – race, culture, multiculturism
The 2011 English summer riots revisited [part 2]
David Starkey
Daily Telegraph, 6 August 2012

Nor are the figures for the riots a fluke, as the Metropolitan Police statistics for 2009-10 show even more extreme disparities: 54 per cent of those proceeded against for street crimes were black; for robbery, 59 per cent; and for gun crimes, 67 per cent. This is also where the figures for previous criminality of the rioters come in: 76 per cent of the rioters brought before the courts were previous offenders; those convicted had committed a grand total of 16,000 offences between them and over a third had served time in jail.

The conclusion is inescapable and painful. Far from being merely opportunistic, the core of the rioters was formed of an already existing criminal class and that class is disproportionately black. This is the reality. But in our present society it is unbearable (in Eliot's formulation). And unsayable.

No wonder the Government and the media worked so hard to suppress it. And no wonder outraged media and public opinion came down like a ton of bricks on those naive or foolhardy enough to tell the truth, like Big Jim on Sky, or me in that now notorious Newsnight debate, when "racist" was among the least of the insults thrown at me.

Actually, I never mentioned race at all, since, in its proper sense, of a group with fixed hereditary characteristics, I regard it, as all sensible people do, as eugenicist nonsense. But I do believe in culture and I talked about that a lot. Not "black culture" of course, since such a uniform construct does not exist any more than a uniform "white culture".

Instead, I focused on "a particular sort" of black culture: the "violent, destructive, nihilistic, 'gangsta' culture" of the street. I mentioned and deplored its specific linguistic forms: the "Jaffaican" patois in which these street denizens speak, and the rap music they listen to, whose lyrics glorify violence (I could have added rape, bling and homophobia). I lamented the fact that "this sort of black male culture militates against education" and emphasised (in anti-racist terms) its insidious attractiveness to white youth.

For my pains I was denounced in intemperate language and with wilful misunderstanding. But, curiously, the strongest voices in my defence were black, like those of the educator Tony Sewell and the writer and youth mentor Lindsay Johns.

Even more curiously, a few months later Adolph Cameron, the head of the Jamaica Teachers' Association, made a speech in Bristol in which he analysed the reluctance of black boys to participate in formal education in terms identical to mine. "To speak in standard English," he said, "is considered a woman's activity." He even questioned whether the idea of academic achievement could co-exist at all with current notions of black masculinity. "Black boys," he pointed out, "are more interested in hustling, which is a quick way of making a living, rather than commitment to study."

"Something must be done," he concluded. It must indeed, otherwise we are doomed to repeat the riots in an ever-shortening cycle. But, my experience has taught me, only a black leader can do it.
[Site link]


Crime – deportation
The foreign criminals we don't try to deport
Ben Leach and David Barrett
Sunday Telegraph, 22 July 2012

Two hundred and fifty foreign criminals who should have been deported at the end of their prison sentences were allowed to stay in Britain on human rights grounds last year without their claims being challenged in court.

In each case, the Home Office accepted their argument that deporting them would breach their human rights rather than asking a judge to decide. The number has increased fivefold in four years, throwing into doubt the commitment of Theresa May, the Home Secretary, to deporting foreign criminals.

They were allowed to stay despite Damian Green, the immigration minister, telling the Commons last December that the Government was "doing everything in our power to increase the number and speed of removals".

The figures, disclosed to The Telegraph under the Freedom of Information Act, show that there were 56 such cases in 2008, rising to 80 in 2009, 217 in 2010 and 250 in 2011 and that:

• In 2011, at least one terrorist – and possibly up to four – was allowed to stay, as well as up to eight killers and rapists. Also among the total were 20 robbers and up to eight paedophiles, plus as many as four people convicted of firearms offences.

• In 2010, the Home Office conceded in the cases of up to four murderers and up to four people convicted of manslaughter, as well as up to four rapists, up to eight paedophiles and 43 people convicted of violent crime or robbery.

• In 2009, there were 17 robbers and 10 violent criminals allowed to remain, and between one and four murderers.

• In 2008 up to four people convicted of manslaughter and up to four rapists were allowed to stay.

The Home Office refused to name any of the 250 criminals, even though all have been convicted in open court of serious crimes that command a prison sentence of at least one year.

It also refused to disclose numbers of many categories of criminal. A spokesman said this was "in order to protect individual identities".

The Home Office said there was a "strong likelihood" the criminals would have won their case if it had gone to court, meaning it was futile to attempt to deport them. ... ...

In addition to the 250 criminals allowed to stay last year, other figures have previously disclosed there were a further 409 who won their cases in the courts after bringing appeals. ...

According to the Home Office, 1,888 overseas offenders lodged appeals under Human Rights Act legislation last year. Of these, 409 were allowed to stay – 185 because the criminal had a right to a "family life" in Britain under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
[Site link]


Nearly a fifth of all suspected rapists and murderers arrested last year were immigrants
Martin Robinson
Daily Mail, 19 July 2012

Almost a fifth of all people charged with rape or murder last year were immigrants and some were deported only to return and commit more crime, it was revealed today.

Critics say new figures show the Government has an 'open door policy' that allows violent criminals from across the world to enter the UK.

Freedom of Information data from English and Welsh police forces show last year 91 immigrants were accused of murder while 406 were charged with rape - around one in five of all cases.
[Site link]


Crime – troubled families, problem families
Riot families' problems go back for generations, says report
Robert Winnett
Daily Telegraph, 18 July 2012

The "troubled families" blamed for last summer's riots are typically made up of single mothers bringing up children from relationships with several absent fathers, an official analysis has found.

Their problems often dated back generations, with long histories of abuse and periods in care homes a common factor for both the children and their parents.

Officials found that the families realised they needed a "wake-up call", with threats of eviction or other action important in ensuring that they accept help.

These are some of the key findings from the first official analysis of troubled families from a unit set up by David Cameron to tackle the root causes of last summer's disturbances.

There are an estimated 120,000 problem families who are each being helped by specialist troubleshooters. Louise Casey, Tony Blair's former "respect tsar" ... is leading the troubled families unit, ...
[Site link]


Met calls in Romanian police to clean up Roma beggars and pickpockets in West End
Justin Davenport
Evening Standard (London), 17 July 2012

Romanian police were deployed on the streets of London today to tackle the problem of beggars and pickpockets in the West End.

Ten Romanian officers, including detectives, have been seconded to the Met for three months in a bid to counter a wave of petty crime.

Seven officers will go on patrol in Westminster in uniform to deal with gangs of beggars who have been camping out in central London.

The Roma travellers, including young children and pregnant women, have been living around Marble Arch and Park Lane for the past two months.

Today new figures reveal the scale of the problem, with police saying they have made 670 arrests of Romanian nationals since November last year. ...

The officers will be deployed for three months in a pilot project, three of whom will work with trafficking teams.
[Site link]


Crime – mob violence, race, USA
Are Race Riots News?
Thomas Sowell
Real Clear Politics, 17 July 2012

When I first saw a book with the title, "White Girl Bleed A Lot" by Colin Flaherty, I instantly knew what it was about, even though I had not seen the book reviewed anywhere, and knew nothing about the author.

That is because I had encountered that phrase before, while doing research for the four new chapters on intellectuals and race that I added to the revised edition of my own book, "Intellectuals and Society," published this year.

That phrase was spoken by a member of a mob of young blacks who attacked whites at random at a Fourth of July celebration in Milwaukee last year. What I was appalled to learn, in the course of my research, was that such race riots have occurred in other cities across the United States in recent years – and that the national mainstream media usually ignore these riots.

Where the violence is too widespread and too widely known locally to be ignored, both the local media and public officials often describe what happened as unspecified "young people" attacking unspecified victims for unspecified reasons. But videos of the attacks often reveal both the racial nature of these attacks and the racial hostility expressed by the attackers.

Ignoring racial violence only guarantees that it will get worse. The Chicago Tribune has publicly rationalized its filtering out of any racial identification of attackers and their victims, even though the media do not hesitate to mention race when decrying statistical disparities in arrest or imprisonment rates. ...

Reading Colin Flaherty's book made painfully clear to me that the magnitude of this problem is even greater than I had discovered from my own research. He documents both the race riots and the media and political evasions in dozens of cities across America.

Flaherty's previous writings have won him praise and awards, but this book has been met largely with silence or abuse. However much ignoring the ugly realities that his book reveals may serve the interests of the media or politicians, a cover-up is a huge disservice to everyone else – whether black, white or whatever.

Even the young hoodlums who launch these mass attacks on strangers would be better off to be stopped now, rather than continue on a path of escalating violence that can lead to a lifetime behind bars or to the execution chamber.

The dangers to the nation as a whole are an even bigger problem. The truth has a way of eventually coming out, in spite of media silence and politicians' spin. If the truth becomes widely known, and a white backlash follows, turning one-way race riots into two-way race riots, then a cycle of revenge and counter-revenge can spiral out of control, as has already happened in too many other countries around the world.

Most blacks and most whites in the United States today get along with each other. But what is chilling is how often in history racial or ethnic groups that co-existed peacefully for generations – often as neighbors – have suddenly turned on each other with lethal violence. ...

All it took were clever demagogues and gullible followers. We already have both. What it will take to nip in the bud the small but widely spreading race riots will be some serious leadership in many quarters and that rarest of all things in politics, honesty.
[Site link]


Crime – transnational crime, human trafficking
New UNODC awareness campaign highlights transnational organized crime as an US$ 870 billion a year business
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 16 July 2012
[Press release]

UNODC today launched a new global awareness-raising campaign emphasizing the size and cost of transnational organized crime. Profiling this multibillion dollar a year threat to peace, human security and prosperity, the campaign illustrates the key financial and social costs of this international problem through a new public service announcement video and dedicated fact sheets for journalists.

With a turnover estimated to be around US$ 870 billion a year, organized criminal networks profit from the sale of illegal goods wherever there is a demand. These immense illicit funds are worth more than 6 times the amount of official development assistance, and are comparable to 1.5 per cent of global GDP, or 7 per cent of the world's exports of merchandise. ...

With an estimated value of US$ 320 billion a year, drug trafficking is the most lucrative form of business for criminals. Human trafficking brings in about US$ 32 billion annually, while some estimates place the global value of smuggling of migrants at US$ 7 billion per year. ... At US$ 250 billion a year, counterfeiting is also a very high earner for organized crime groups.

... Millions of victims are affected each year as a result of the activities of organized crime groups with human trafficking victims alone numbering 2.4 million at any one time.
[Site link]


Crime – European criminals
More than 50 European criminals jailed in Britain every week
Daily Telegraph, 7 June 2012

More than 50 European nationals are being jailed in England and Wales every week, prison figures suggest.

In the past decade, the number of Europeans locked up for robbery has doubled, for violent crimes it has more than trebled and for sexual offences it has quadrupled.

A total of 2,696 were put behind bars last year – the equivalent of more than 50 per week – compared to the 1,321 jailed in 2002.

In 2002, judges jailed 196 violent offenders from European countries, 84 sex offenders and 132 robbers but the figures rose to 610, 335 and 262 respectively last year.

The number of EU citizens not from Britain handed indefinite sentences in courts in England and Wales has risen from 98 in 2002 to 367 in 2011, the figures show.
[Site link]


Crime – border security
Human Smuggling Gang Exposed By The People
Halina Watts
The People, 20 May 2012

A human smuggling gang that has sneaked hundreds of criminals and illegal immigrants through UK border controls has been smashed by The People.

The ruthless mob – run by Romanian beauty Marcella Nedea – was secretly transporting fugitives wanted by the authorities OUT of Britain.

Once on the Continent, they could more easily get EU citizen papers and return to Britain legally.

The rat run was a security nightmare for the authorities in the run-up to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics.

Before The People acted, it could have been an open door to terrorists using it as an easy way to slip in and out of Britain.

The gang, who charge up to £1,800 a trip, are believed to have smuggled up to 30 fugitives a week for three years.

They have raked in a fortune with ringleader Nedea, 27, who also runs a cleaning firm, owning numerous properties.

Her No2, a Pakistani called Talet, told our undercover investigator: "If you don't have papers or people want to send you to prison, you can give us money and we will take you out of here. It's easy." ...

A source said: "People smuggling is a major problem and this escape route could have been used by anyone from illegal immigrants to wanted fugitives. This may prove to be a very useful set of arrests."

Our investigators exposed the gang after meeting Talet in east London following a tip-off that he was cashing in on the Government's failure to deport foreign criminals.

The UK Border Agency says there are 3,900 foreign offenders subject to deportation who were still walking the streets at the start of last month. ...

Despite the obvious danger, Talet admitted the operation was a massive success with a queue of customers.

He said: "We send all people. There was one man who married a girl and before that he tried to get asylum. He got documents under one name then married a girl under another name.

"He is running from the Home Office. The Home Office are trying to get him. We sent some girls from my country, Pakistan. They can't get visa or get paper. So they go to Germany and get papers easily. ..." ...

Last night ... Fixer Talet and boss Nedea were being hunted.
[Site link]


Crime – race
Warsi: Minority of Pakistani men see white girls as 'fair game'
BBC, 18 May 2012

A "small minority" of Pakistani men see white girls as "fair game", Baroness Warsi has said.

It is important to "speak out" and acknowledge the problem in order to tackle it, she added.

Lady Warsi, the daughter of Pakistani immigrants, is co-chair of the Conservative party.

Her comments follow the jailing of nine men, eight of whom were of Pakistani origin, in Rochdale for sexually abusing young girls. ...

Following the trial, Greater Manchester Police (GMP), which led the investigation, played down suggestions there was a racial element to the case.

GMP Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood said: "It just happens that in this particular area and time, the demographics were that these were Asian men."

And head of the Crown Prosecution Service in the North West, Nazir Afzal, said it was wrong to put race at the centre of the case. ...

Lady Warsi echoes comments made by Rochdale MP, Simon Danczuk who said it would be "daft" to ignore a "race element" to the case.

Trevor Phillips, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said it was "fatuous" to deny racial and cultural factors. ...

Last year former home secretary Jack Straw caused controversy when speaking about a similar case of abuse in Derby.

Mr Straw suggested some men of Pakistani origin see white girls as "easy meat".

"There is a specific problem which involves Pakistani heritage men... who target vulnerable young white girls", he said.
[Site link]


Home Office-approved adviser who made £1 million through helping immigrants stay in the UK
Nick Mcdermott
Daily Mail, 17 May 2012

A Home Office-approved adviser and his wife who made more than £1 million helping scores of immigrants illegally remain in Britain as part of a visa scam were jailed yesterday.

When police raided the family home of Vijay and Bhawna Sorthia, they found bundles of cash totalling £330,000 hidden in a cupboard as well as documents relating to dozens of individuals they had unlawfully assisted.

Mr Sorthia, 35, who ran immigration advisory service Migration Gurus from a small office in North West London, was yesterday imprisoned for 10 years for his part in the lucrative plot.

He first came to Britain as a student in 2000, but then illegally gained a work permit in 2004 after claiming he was employed by a sham company. ...

As an accredited adviser with the Offices of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), which is linked to the Home Office, Mr Sorthia was able to assist individuals with claims for asylum, as well as immigration, residence and citizenship applications.

In its advertising, Migration Gurus touted itself as 'a leading Immigration and Overseas Education consultancy' which had 'assisted hundreds of individuals' enter or remain in Britain.
[Site link]


Crime – mob violence, race, USA
A Censored Race War: The media ignore racially motivated black-on-white crime
Thomas Sowell
National Review Online, 15 May 2012

When two white newspaper reporters for the Virginian-Pilot were driving through Norfolk, and were set upon and beaten by a mob of young blacks – beaten so badly that they had to take a week off from work – that might sound like news that should have been reported, at least by their own newspaper. But it wasn't. ...

Similar episodes of unprovoked violence by young black gangs against white people chosen at random on beaches, in shopping malls, or in other public places have occurred in Philadelphia, New York, Denver, Chicago, Cleveland, Washington, Los Angeles, and other places across the country. Both the authorities and the media tend to try to sweep these episodes under the rug.

In Milwaukee, for example, an attack on whites at a public park a few years ago left many of the victims battered to the ground and bloody. But when the police arrived on the scene, it became clear that the authorities wanted to keep this quiet.

One 22-year-old woman, who had been robbed of her cell phone and debit card, and had blood streaming down her face, said, "About 20 of us stayed to give statements and make sure everyone was accounted for. The police wouldn't listen to us, they wouldn't take our names or statements. They told us to leave. It was completely infuriating."

The police chief seemed determined to head off any suggestion that this was a racially motivated attack by saying that crime is color-blind. Officials elsewhere have said similar things.

A wave of such attacks in Chicago were reported, but not the race of the attackers or victims. Media outlets that do not report the race of people committing crimes nevertheless report racial disparities in imprisonment and write heated editorials blaming the criminal-justice system.

What the authorities and the media seem determined to suppress is that the hoodlum elements in many ghettoes launch coordinated attacks on whites in public places. If there is anything worse than a one-sided race war, it is a two-sided race war, especially when one of the races outnumbers the other several times over. ...

Trying to keep the lid on is understandable. But a lot of pressure can build up under that lid. If and when that pressure leads to an explosion of white backlash, things could be a lot worse than if the truth had come out earlier, and steps taken by both black and white leaders to deal with the hoodlums and with those who inflame them. ...

These others extend beyond whites. Asian-American schoolchildren in New York and Philadelphia have for years been beaten up by their black classmates. But people in the mainstream media who go ballistic if some kid says something unkind on the Internet about a homosexual classmate nevertheless hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil when Asian-American youngsters are victims of violence.

Those who automatically say that the social pathology of the ghetto is due to poverty, discrimination, and the like cannot explain why such pathology was far less prevalent in the 1950s, when poverty and discrimination were worse. But there were not nearly as many grievance mongers and race hustlers then.
[Site link]


Crime – gangs, culture
Riots were a 'taste of Britain to come', warns Government adviser
Rowena Mason
Daily Telegraph, 10 May 2012

Last summer's riots are a "taste of Britain to come" as politicians are failing to deal with the gang warfare, crime-ridden streets and absent fathers, a Government adviser has warned.

Simon Marcus, a charity boss appointed to investigate the riots, has launched a blistering attack on the Government, local councils and police for being "in denial" about the gang culture behind the unrest.

An official report into last August's violence by the Riots, Communities and Victims Panel found that a lack of confidence in the police, materialism and poor parenting were all partially to blame.

Mr Marcus was a member of the panel that wrote the report, but he said it "failed to address the deeper causes" of the violence.

Writing in the Spectator, he said few are willing to admit that an "epidemic of father absence" had lead to a vacuum which is now filled by dangerous gangs that give young people security, identity, loyalty and money.

"Many may be in denial of this reality - but in many parts of our country this culture now owns the streets and last August it simply did what it says on the tin," he said.

He blamed gang culture for "dominating areas" as the disintegration of the traditional family has demoralised and fractured society.

Mr Marcus, the founder of the Boxing Academy charity, said it was more likely that half the rioters were involved with gangs than the 13 per cent identified by the official investigation. ...

He said the problem was made worse when councils fail to address the problem directly and identified a "local government culture of psychobabble".

"There sometimes seemed an iron curtain between the politically correct local government elite and the people they are meant to work for," he said.
[Site link]


Crime – Romanians
Romanian beggars 'flooding' London
Daily Express, 24 April 2012

Eastern European migrants are arriving in London in "unprecedented" numbers, flooding the capital with beggars, pickpockets and prostitutes before the Olympics, officials have warned.

Organised crime gangs are believed to be transporting coach loads of Romanians into the country with instructions to work a pre-allocated "pitch". ... ...

Westminster councillor Nickie Aiken, spokeswoman for children, young people and community protection, said: "The reality is that coach transport into London represents an immigration sieve.

"There are no effective border controls on those coming into the UK and making their way to Victoria coach station and we are paying the price of that with a sudden influx of eastern European rough sleepers - especially Romanians - around Marble Arch." ...

Officials say they have identified three central London locations which have become "bedding down sites", including Hampden Gurney Primary School in Nutford Place, Westminster. A second group of Romanians are understood to be commuting into the area to beg or steal.
[Site link]


Crime – cost, USA
Looking for a little peace? Look to Maine, not Louisiana
Kari Huus, 24 April 2012

A new study ranking American states and cities for "peacefulness" puts Louisiana on the bottom of the heap, while Maine, tucked away in the northeast corner of the country, is rated No. 1.

The 2012 U.S. Peace Index, produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, a nonprofit nonpartisan research organization with offices in Sydney Australia, New York and Washington, D.C., considered five factors in its rankings: the number of homicides, number of violent crimes, the incarceration rate, number of police department employees and the availability of small arms.

It also offers an assessment of the benefits of peace, and the costs generated by violence.

In Maine, violence and violence containment cost taxpayers roughly $1,300 per person in 2011, the study said, compared to the average of $3,260 across the country.

If all the states had the same level of peacefulness as Maine, the total savings to the country would surpass $274 billion, according to the report.

"What is absolutely clear from the index," said Steve Killelea, founder and CEO of the institute, "is that peaceful states perform better across a range of economic, health, education and community factors. They have higher high school graduation rates, lower poverty, better access to basic services, higher labor force participation rates, higher life expectancy and less single parented families. Even social capital – like volunteerism, civic engagement, trust, and group membership – is higher in more peaceful states."

IEP, which also does a global peace index each year, showed that the most peaceful metropolitan area was Cambridge-Newton-Framingham in Massachusetts, while Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn in Michigan was the most violent, followed by New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner in Louisiana. ...

The report showed encouraging trends – with homicide rates across the nation falling by 50 percent since 1991, and a reduction in violent crime rates in 42 states during the same period.

"What the USPI shows is that over the past 20 years, America has become substantially more peaceful, witnessing a significant reduction in direct violence," said Killelea.

Experts attribute the decline in violence to a range of factors, said Killelea, including better policing, an aging population, rising socioeconomic standards and the use of private security, to name a few.

But the homicide rate in the United States remains much higher than in countries that are similar in socioeconomic terms, he said.
[Site link]


Crime – mutilation of women
100,000 British women mutilated
Sunday Telegraph, 22 April 2012

As many as 100,000 women in Britain have undergone female genital mutilations with medics in the UK offering to carry out the illegal procedure on girls as young as 10, it has been reported.

Investigators from The Sunday Times said they secretly filmed a doctor, dentist and alternative medicine practitioner who were allegedly willing to perform circumcisions or arrange for the operation to be carried out. The doctor and dentist deny any wrongdoing. ...

Known as "cutting", the procedure is traditionally carried out for cultural reasons and is widespread across Africa. ...

Research suggests that every year up to 6,000 girls in London are at risk of the potentially fatal procedure, and more than 22,000 in the UK as a whole.

The Metropolitan Police said since 2008, it had received 166 reports of people who fear they are at risk of FGM.

It is the same story for all 43 forces across England and Wales with no convictions for the offence ever taking place, according to The Sunday Times.

The newspaper added that only two doctors have been struck off by The General Medical Council since 1980.

According to Forward, a charity which campaigners against FGM, an estimated 100,000 women in the UK have undergone mutilation.
[Site link]


Crime – human trafficking
UN: 2.4 million human trafficking victims
Edith M. Lederer
The Guardian / AP, 4 April 2012

The U.N. crime-fighting office said Tuesday that 2.4 million people across the globe are victims of human trafficking at any one time, and 80 percent of them are being exploited as sexual slaves.

Yuri Fedotov, the head of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, told a daylong General Assembly meeting on trafficking that 17 percent are trafficked to perform forced labor, including in homes and sweat shops.

He said $32 billion is being earned every year by unscrupulous criminals running human trafficking networks, and two out of every three victims are women. ...

According to Fedotov's Vienna-based office, only one out of 100 victims of trafficking is ever rescued. ...

M. Cherif Bassiouni, an emeritus law professor at DePaul University in Chicago, said to applause that "there is no human rights subject on which governments have said so much but done so little."
[Site link]


Crime – sham marriages
300 people in 'sham weddings' scandal but just two deported
David Barrett
Sunday Telegraph, 1 April 2012

Only two phoney brides and grooms who wedded in up to 150 sham marriages overseen by a Church of England vicar have been deported, ...

It looks like any ordinary wedding: a happy bride and groom and a smiling vicar uniting them.

In fact, the couple being married by the Rev Brian Shipsides are just one of 150 suspected sham marriages he conducted and for which he faces jail this week.

But the scandal runs far deeper: just two phoney brides or grooms who took part in the bogus marriages have been deported, ...

And of the couples who Mr Shipsides admits were bogus, dozens have gained the right to stay in Britain.

Mr Shipsides, who oversaw two Anglican churches in London, will be sentenced on Tuesday for his role in the conspiracy.

Officials are examining all 250 marriages held by Rev Shipsides and other clergymen at the churches over a two and a half year period but so far just eight foreigners have been jailed for immigration offences, and two individuals have been removed from Britain.

In the scam European Union citizens - mostly from Portugal or the Netherlands and therefore entitled to live in Britain - would marry foreigners, the majority from Nigeria, to gain them the right to stay in Britain.

The fake spouses paid Mr Shipsides £140 a time for the bogus ceremonies, which they hoped would boost their chances of obtaining residency permits, and therefore win the right to work and claim benefits.

In fact, out of the 250 weddings which took place in the churches of All Saints church in Forest Gate, east London, and at its sister church St Anne's, between December 2007 and July 2010, 150 brides or grooms have been granted a British residency permit. ...

It comes as new figures showed the number of sham marriages reported to the UKBA reached record levels last year.

The total rocketed from 926 in 2010 to 1,741 last year, compared with less than 400 in 2007, according to the official data disclosed by Lord Henley, a Home Office minister.
[Site link]


Crime – metal theft
Foreign criminal syndicates 'behind metal thefts in Britain'
Andrew Hough
Daily Telegraph, 31 March 2012

Gangs in China and Africa are orchestrating metal thefts in Britain, police believe, in a new development in the crime epidemic sweeping the country.

Authorities say the "serious" international criminal syndicates are likely behind attacks on the country's historic buildings, railways and national infrastructure.

Intelligence suggests gangs from Africa and China are stealing valuable metal to "finance and fund organised crime" while causing "serious harm" in Britain. ...

On Friday, it was disclosed that an operation involving dozens of officers from six forces, seized more than £500,000 worth of smuggled metal from ports along the east coast.

Sources involved in "Operation Chisel" say evidence has, for the first time, provided "proof of how the metal theft epidemic has now become a highly organised international operation". ...

The investigation, headed by the Eastern Region Special Operation Unit (ERSOU), uncovered evidence to suggest the smuggled metal was bound for China, West Africa and India and Northern Cyprus. ...

Last year more than 200,000 gas cylinders were stolen across Britain by scrap metal thieves, costing the industry more than £9 million. ...

The UK Border Force (UKBF) commissioned Operation Chisel, which involved officers from Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Suffolk police forces. ...

Official figures have shown that more than 1,000 metal theft offences are occurring every week in Britain.
[Site link]


Crime – illegal immigrants, USA
DHS estimates an unchanged 11.5 million undocumented immigrants
Elizabeth Aguilera
Union-Tribune San Diego, 23 March 2012

The Department of Homeland Security estimates there were 11.5 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. in January of 2011, down from 11.6 million the year before, according to a population report released Friday by the agency. ...

The number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. has been holding steady for the last several years after it dipped in 2009 from a peak of nearly 12 million in 2007, according to several government and non-profit think tanks.

The DHS report also found:

• More than half of the unauthorized immigrant population living in the U.S. in 2001 had arrived in the U.S. between 1994 an 2004 while only 14 percent had arrived since 2005.

• A majority of undocumented immigrants are between 25 and 44 years of age and more than half are male.

• Mexicans account for 59 percent of the unauthorized immigrants in the U.S., followed by El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and China.

• Among states, California is home to the largest set of unauthorized immigrants, with 2.8 million, followed by Texas, Florida, New York and Illinois.
[Site link]


Crime – illegal immigrants, USA
Police to ignore California impound law amid concern of fairness to illegal immigrants
William Lajeunesse
Fox News, 22 March 2012

The Los Angeles Police Department will soon start ignoring California state law, which requires police to impound the vehicles of unlicensed drivers for 30 days.

The majority of unlicensed motorists in Los Angeles are immigrants who are in the country illegally and have low-income jobs. The LAPD says the state's impound law is unfair because it limits their ability to get to their jobs and imposes a steep fine to get their car back.

As long as drivers can produce some form of I.D., proof of insurance and vehicle registration, they'll be allowed to keep their car. Police Chief Charlie Beck insists that it's simply leveling the playing field.

"It's about fairness. It's about equal application of the law," Beck told a Los Angeles TV station earlier this month.

Opponents of Beck's decision are furious and refer to studies showing unlicensed drivers are among the most dangerous on the road. Indeed, a 2011 AAA study titled "Unlicensed to Kill" finds they are five times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes and more likely to flee the scene of a crime. ...

Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley wrote Chief Beck, saying his policy would be "invalid" in light of state law, which states a vehicle "shall be impounded." But supporters of Beck's decision say, regardless of the law, he's doing the right thing for illegal immigrants who cannot yet obtain driver's licenses here.

"A low-income person doesn't have the ability to pay the fees after 30 days to get their car back," said Cardinal Roger Mahony, former Archbishop of Los Angeles and an immigration activist. "Basically, we're just creating more punitive problems for them." ...

Immigrant advocates say the controversy highlights the need to provide provisional driver's licenses for illegal immigrants.
[Site link]


Crime – religion, Christianity, Europe
Report on Europe finds 'numerous' anti-Christian actions, crimes
Kevin J. Jones
Catholic News Agency, 21 March 2012

A new report says that 85 percent of hate crimes committed in Europe during 2011 were aimed at Christians.

The report, from the Austria-based Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe, summarized incidents ranging from vandalism and insults to the suppression of religious symbols, desecrations, "hate crimes" and religiously motivated violence.

Dr. Gudrun Kugler, director of the observatory, said studies suggest that 85 percent of hate crimes in Europe are directed against Christians. ...

The observatory has also monitored professional restrictions on Christians. A restrictive definition of freedom of conscience means that professions such as magistrates, doctors, nurses, midwives and pharmacists are "slowly closing for Christians."

Teachers and parents "get into trouble" when they disagree with state-defined sexual ethics, the report said.

One survey in the U.K. indicates popular perception agrees. Seventy-four percent of poll respondents said that there is more negative discrimination against Christians than people of other faiths.
[Site link]


Crime – multiculturalism, Asians, honour code
'Honour code' supported by young Asians, poll says
BBC, 19 March 2012

Two-thirds of young British Asians agree that families should live according to the concept of "honour", a poll for BBC Panorama suggests.

Of 500 young Asians questioned, 18% also felt that certain behaviour by women that could affect her family's honour justified physical punishment.

These included disobeying their father, and wanting to leave an existing or prearranged marriage. ...

The poll, conducted for the BBC by ComRes, interviewed young Asians living in Britain between the ages of 16 and 34. ...

Asked if they agreed that families should live according to "honour", 69% agreed, a figure that rose to 75% among young men, compared with 63% of young women.

They were also asked if they felt there was ever a justification for so-called "honour killings". Only 3% said that it could be justified.

However, when divided by sex, 6% of young Asian men said that honour killings could be justified, compared with just 1% of Asian women surveyed.

Experts interviewed by the programme argue that the root cause of "honour" crime lies in forced marriage. ...

A survey of police forces by the Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation (IKWRO) found there were 2,823 incidences of honour crimes a year, or almost eight a day. But those figures are considered a vast underestimate given that 13 of 52 police forces did not respond to the charity's request for a breakdown in November 2011.

Nazir Afzal of the Crown Prosecution Service said the degree of honour crime in Britain - including murders meant to preserve a family's "honour" within their own community - was unknown.

"We don't know the true figure of honour killings. It's anything between 10 and 12 a year in this country. I don't know how many other unmarked graves there are in this country in our green and pleasant land."

Mr Afzal estimates that there are 10,000 forced marriages in Britain every year, and said a measure of multicultural sensitivity was likely part of the problem.

"Forced marriage is the earthquake and what's followed is a tsunami of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, child protection issues, suicide and murder.

"If we can tackle forced marriage then we can prevent all these other things from happening."
[Site link]


Crime – Australia
Australia Faces Growing Human Trafficking Trend
Phil Mercer
Voice of America, 19 March 2012

Australia's Federal Police are warning that people trafficking is becoming an alarming and growing trend. While most of the focus is on the smuggling of foreign women into Australia's sex industry, senior officers say there has been an increase of "slave labor" into other sectors, including construction and manufacturing. ...

Most of the women trafficked into Australia come from Asia and Eastern Europe. They are often tricked with promises of a well-paid job or a place at college, but end up in sexual servitude. There is also evidence that this type of trafficking is increasing in other sectors, including agriculture and manufacturing.

Victims are often too scared to go to the authorities out of fear of deportation or because of threats against family members.
[Site link]


Crime – deportation
European prisoner population doubles over decade
Martin Beckford
Daily Telegraph, 10 March 2012

The number of European criminals in English prisons has doubled over the past decade, while only a handful are being sent home to complete their sentences.

Official figures show that almost 3,000 offenders from European Union countries are now being jailed each year, the majority receiving sentences of four years of more for serious crimes.

The number of criminals from the continent being locked up for violence and sexual offences has tripled in recent years.

But so far no prisoners have been sent back under a new scheme intended to repatriate foreign offenders, and only 10 have been returned in recent months under existing arrangements.

The statistics were uncovered in parliamentary written questions by Martin Horwood, the Liberal Democrat MP for Cheltenham who sits on his party's international affairs committee.

He said they show that, at an estimated cost of more than £30,000 to keep one prisoner locked up for a year, Britain could save millions by returning offenders to their home countries under the new scheme.

Mr Horwood said: "This represents a staggering cost to the British taxpayer for looking after prisoners from other European Union countries who are in the UK.

"I think the Government should certainly not be contemplating opting out of the one EU-wide scheme which gives us the possibility of sending these prisoners home to serve sentences in their own country."

The prison population in England and Wales reached 87,583 last month, 98 per cent of the capacity and just a few hundred off the record high set in December.

Of these, more than 4 per cent are now offenders from European Union countries, the new data show, following record immigration in recent years.

Including those from the rest of the world, foreign nationals account for about 12 per cent of the jail population with most coming from Jamaica, Poland and the Irish Republic.
[Site link]


Crime – problem families
The 72,000 problem families with no father and no male role model
Robert Winnett
Daily Telegraph, 10 March 2012

The majority of Britain's "problem families", some of whom are blamed for last summer's riots, are fatherless, official research has found.

About 72,000 of the most troubled families, 60 per cent of those being targeted by the Government, are headed by a single mother. The rate is about triple the national average.

An official review into the causes of last summer's riots is expected to highlight the lack of "male role models" for many of the youths arrested in the wake of the widespread disturbances.

The riot panel, set up to investigate the problem, is thought to have become frustrated that few details of the family backgrounds of problem children have previously been recorded, despite it being such an important influence on their behaviour. ...

It is understood that another "problem" identified among the troubled families is the large number of children. About 20 per cent of the 120,000 families have at least five children, which can lead to a lack of parental attention. ...

Britain's problem families are estimated to cost the taxpayer £9 billion annually – an average of £75,000 each in benefits and the costs of other public services.
[Site link]


Crime – repatriation
£8m bribe for foreign prisoners
Daily Express, 6 March 2012

Foreign rapists, murderers and other dangerous criminals in British jails could rake in almost £8 million in "goodbye bribes".

There are 5,178 overseas offenders in UK prisons due to be deported at the end of their sentences, Government figures reveal. These include 104 paedophile rapists and 625 murderers.

Under the Facilitated Returns Scheme each prisoner may get up to £1,500 to leave the country early. If all the overseas-born criminals in jail take the cash, the cost will be £7.7 million.

The size of the foreign population in prison was revealed by Immigration Minister Damian Green.

Last night the UK Border Agency said: "The FRS means that we are removing foreign national offenders quicker while saving the taxpayer money and freeing up prison places."
[Site link]


Crime – witchcraft
Witchcraft is growing threat to children in Britain, warn police
Nick Britten and Victoria Ward
Daily Telegraph, 2 March 2012

Children in Britain are being abused and murdered in increasing numbers because the belief in witchcraft is rife in some African communities, police said.

The warning was issued as a couple from the Democratic Republic of Congo were found guilty of murdering the woman's 15-year-old brother during an "exorcism ceremony".

The Metropolitan Police yesterday said it had investigated 83 "faith-based" child abuse cases involving witchcraft in the past 10 years but believed it was still an "under-reported, hidden crime".

Children's charities and campaigners urged communities to report abuse and said social workers must be firmer in confronting abuse in immigrant groups. ...

Detectives warned that while they were investigating around eight cases a year, they believed many more incidents went unreported.

Det Supt Terry Sharpe, the Metropolitan Police's lead on Project Violet, a team set up to tackle religious-based child abuse, said: "The intelligence from the community is that it's far more prevalent than the reports we are getting." ...

Many cases involve immigrants from African countries such as the DRC, where witchcraft is widely practised, and are nurtured by an increasing number of African churches.
[Site link]


Crime – drugs
UN: drug gangs controlling parts of British cities
Daily Telegraph, 29 February 2012

Parts of British cities are becoming no-go areas where drugs gangs are effectively in control, a United Nations drugs chief said today.

Professor Hamid Ghodse, president of the UN's International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), said there was "a vicious cycle of social exclusion and drugs problems and fractured communities" in cities such as Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester.

The development of "no-go areas" was being fuelled by threats such as social inequality, migration and celebrities normalising drug abuse, he warned. ...

The INCB's annual report for 2011 found persistent social inequality, migration, emerging cultures of excess and a shift in traditional values were some of the key threats to social cohesion. ...

The report added: "While migration offers many positive benefits to the migrant and to society at large, it can create a sense of dislocation from the surrounding community and a sense of vulnerability on the part of those who are displaced.

"Where migrating social groups have travelled from areas associated with illicit drug production and drug abuse, there is a greater likelihood of individuals engaging in forms of drug misuse as a way of coping with such a sense of dislocation."
[Site link]


Crime – benefit swindle
Sisters in £1m gypsy benefit swindle told to repay just £17
Chris Riches
Daily Express, 25 February 2012

Britain's soft justice system was slammed last night after members of an immigrant gypsy gang that swindled nearly £1 million in benefits were ordered to pay back just £17.65.

Sisters Ramona, 34, and Dorina Dumitru, 39, were part of a "Con Air" team of Romanians who cheated British taxpayers out of more than £800,000 in what a judge described as a "flagrant" attack on our welfare system.

The fraudsters used forged Home Office documents and job references to illegally obtain national insurance numbers to plunder state handouts. ...

Highlighting the scandal of the UK's porous borders, some never lived here. They regularly flew from Romania to collect their payments, returning laden with the cash.

But at Southwark Crown Court yesterday, rather than claw back taxpayers' money, a judge ordered the sisters – who personally stole a total of £182,439.60 – to repay a pathetic £17.65 after they claimed they had no realisable assets. ...

Nine members of the gang, who lived in Nottingham, Birmingham and Liverpool as well as Romania, were jailed last May for terms of between one month and four years eight months after admitting a string of fraud charges.

Yesterday Judge Michael Gledhill sat in a confiscation hearing on Ramona Dumitru, jailed for two years, and Dorina Dumitru, jailed for 20 months.
[Site link]


'Immigrant crimewave' warning: East Europeans were responsible for a QUARTER of all offenses in London
Jack Doyle and Stephen Wright
Daily Mail, 18 February 2012

Eastern European criminals were responsible for more than 11,000 crimes in London last year.

Nationals of Poland, Romania and Lithuania are most likely of all foreigners to be prosecuted by the police, an investigation has revealed.

Overall, foreigners are accused of one in four of all crimes committed in London.

Astonishingly, they make up nine out of ten drug suspects and are responsible for more than one in three sex offences.

The figures will give force to warnings of a growing 'immigrant crime wave'.

Four years ago, foreign nationals were found to commit one in five crimes.

A string of horrendous attacks carried out by Eastern European criminals in recent months has raised concerns over the lack of checks on new arrivals. ...

The Metropolitan Police statistics were unearthed by the London section of BBC Politics.

They show the nationality of criminals 'proceeded against' – either charged and taken to court, fined or cautioned – by the force over a year and the nature of the crime. From September 2010 to August 31 last year, the Met proceeded against 195,714 alleged criminals. Of those, 46,588 were foreign nationals – or 24 per cent of the total. The remaining 149,126 individuals were British.

Seven of the top ten offender nationalities were European. Poland came top with 4,742 alleged offenders, ahead of Romania with 3,952 and Lithuania with 2,561. Police processed 436 Australians. The programme makers spoke to one Polish ex-offender who said the British legal system was weak.

Polish criminals thought British prisons were like being in 'a spa', he said, adding they would 'think twice' if they thought they would be sent home to serve time. ...

Critics say Britain's open borders with other EU members make it impossible to control who comes and goes. In many cases, Brussels regulations make it impossible to stop criminals from entering even if we know of their convictions.

EU laws also restrict the Government's ability to send criminals back home after prison.

More than 11,000 foreign national offenders are behind bars in England and Wales.
[Site link]


Crime – police, political correctness, racism
How political correctness is ruining Britain's police
Kevin Hurley
Daily Mail, 15 February 2012

As corrupt cop Ali Dizaei is finally jailed, an ex-colleague says the Met has been paralysed by fears of being branded racist. ...

Those flaws have been graphically illustrated by the appalling case of Ali Dizaei, the notoriously corrupt Iranian-born officer who was this week sent back to jail for a second time after his conviction for perverting the course of justice.

Only an organisation obsessed with the creed of diversity and lacking in moral integrity would have allowed a swaggering, criminal bully like Dizaei to rise up its hierarchy and gain a senior position.

He should have been drummed out long ago, not constantly rewarded with promotion.

But Dizaei is a symbol of the rot within the top ranks of the Met. Too many senior officers seem to have forgotten that their central duty is to protect the law-abiding British public.

Instead of taking tough decisions – like challenging Dizaei – they indulge in politicised manoeuvres designed to protect their own backs and further their own careers. ...

As a former detective chief superintendent at the Met myself, I have been appalled by the Dizaei saga.

I was actually the borough commander in West London at the time when, in July 2008, he tried to frame an innocent Iraqi businessman, Waad al-Baghdadi, with whom he was engaged in a bitter feud over money. The incident ultimately led to two criminal trials and Dizaei's conviction this week.

But from the moment Dizaei hauled Mr al-Baghdadi into Hammersmith police station on charges of assault, I had the severest doubts about his tale.

This was not just because of the unconvincing nature of his story that al-Baghdadi had attacked him, which turned out to be a pack of lies, but also because of Dizaei's appalling record of dishonesty, corruption and abuse of office. ...

He was a figure of epic venality, ambition and ruthlessness, his entire career geared towards furthering his own interests, regardless of the legality or probity of his methods. ...

When he joined the Met as a superintendent in 1999, former colleagues in the Thames Valley Police, where he was an officer for more than a decade, warned us to beware, telling us of his enthusiasm for playing the race card to achieve his ends.

But in a climate of hysteria over accusations of 'institutionalised racism', the Met's top brass were desperate to recruit more ethnic minority senior officers.

The warnings from Thames Valley Police were grimly fulfilled. Dizaei was a master at using fears about racism to thwart any challenge to his increasingly aggressive, self-serving conduct. The National Black Police Association, of which Dizaei was president, was his chosen instrument with which to bully and intimidate the Met's hierarchy. ...

Even the Independent Police Complaints Commission, normally all too keen on enforcing the politically correct code, urged the Met to discipline Dizaei – but top commanders were too pusillanimous to do so.
[Site link]


Crime – sham weddings
Dozens of 'sham' weddings halted in Leeds
BBC, 13 February 2012

Immigration officers prevented about 70 sham marriages in one month taking place by monitoring a busy city centre register office, it has emerged.

The UK Border Agency team burst in to prevent two weddings which involved men living in the country illegally.

The services were filmed by the BBC's Inside Out Yorkshire programme as officers watched the register office at Leeds Town Hall.

Officers described their co-operation with registrars as "excellent".

The investigative team swooped on a wedding between a French bride and an Indian groom and found his leave to remain in the UK had been revoked.

A second wedding between a Pakistani man and a Lithuanian woman was also halted.

Border Agency staff spent four weeks interviewing everyone getting married at Leeds register office.

In that period alone, they estimate they prevented 70 sham weddings from going ahead.
[Site link]


Crime – border controls, European Union
EU's open borders let gangsters into UK
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 30 January 2012

The EU's passport-free travel scheme has seen the number of Albanians trying to sneak into Britain hit a record high.

The folly of the borderless Schengen zone is today laid bare. Before the eastern Europeans were given visa-free access to mainland Europe in 2010, British immigration officers picked up around two illegal Albanian migrants a week.

Once Brussels opened the door, 229 were turned back in the three months between July and September 2011 – a rise of more than 800 per cent.

The study by Frontex, the EU's border agency, found that in the same period, 3,550 Albanians were turned away from all EU borders – a seven-fold increase on the year before.

The details emerged a week after the EU opened talks over visa liberalisation for Kosovo.

Experts fear this will provide a new backdoor into the UK for more illegal migrants and criminal gangs who will exploit the weak border controls.

Campaigners expressed outrage yesterday at the Albanian figures, saying they proved that, even though Britain is not part of the EU's borderless Schengen Area, lax controls still affect the UK.

Gerard Batten, MEP and UKIP home affairs spokesman, said: "We have warned about this side-effect of visa-free travel many times.

"These figures will be just the tip of the iceberg because they represent only the ones who are caught." ...

Albanian gangsters are said to control more than 75 per cent of UK brothels and turn over £15 million a year in London's West End alone.

Their gangs are implicated in heroin dealing, kidnaps and street robbery.
[Site link]


Crime – sham marriages
Clergyman jailed for sham marriage scam
John Bingham
Daily Telegraph, 27 January 2012

An Anglican clergyman who advised the Church of England on how to handle sham marriages has been jailed for two and a half years for conducting dozens of the illegal ceremonies himself.

The Revd Canon Dr John Magumba married a stream of Nigerian men to EU citizens giving them a "golden ticket" to stay in Britain, a court heard.

At one point he was conducting so many weddings involving foreigners that he was put him in charge of a committee of diocesan working party on how to handle the issue – including how to spot sham relationships, Bolton Crown Court heard.

He "asked no questions" despite a dramatic surge in African men choosing his churches in Greater Manchester to marry Polish, Slovak or Czech women.

The father-of-six, originally from Uganda, was serving as a team vicar in the parishes of St Mary's in Rochdale, St Peter's in Newbold and St Luke's in Deeplish when the bogus weddings took place between 2007 and last year.

He evaded internal church safeguards by conducting some in secret and failing to read the banns for others or to check the addresses which had been given by the parties. ...

In total police uncovered 28 bogus weddings carried out by him.

He also pocketed more than £8,000 from marriage fees which were never passed on to parish funds.
[Site link]


Crime – marriage
Two vicars 'conducted hundreds of sham marriages to help illegal immigrants stay in Britain'
Anthony Bond
Daily Mail, 25 January 2012

Two Church of England vicars conducted 'hundreds' of sham marriages to help illegal immigrants stay in Britain, a court heard today.

The Reverend Elwon John, 44, and Reverend Brian Shipsides, 55, performed the sham wedding ceremonies at All Saints Church in Forest Gate, east London, jurors were told.

Once wed there were a 'strikingly high proportion' who then made applications to the Home Office for the right to remain in the country.

In some cases, EU nationals were even flown into Britain just so the marriages could take place before being flown straight out again, Inner London crown court heard.

According to the prosecution, 31-year-old 'fixer' Amdudalat Ladipo - herself an illegal immigrant - arranged the weddings between mainly Nigerian and EU nationals. ...

All three are now charged with conspiring to facilitate unlawful immigration. Shipsides has already pleaded guilty. Ladipo and John deny the charges. ...

Mr Walbank told jurors the majority of the marriages which took place were between Nigerians and nationals from the European Economic Area (EEA), mainly from Portugal and the Netherlands.
[Site link]


Crime – Sweden
Forced labour on the rise in Sweden: report
The Local [Sweden], 15 January 2012

Organized begging, forced labour and forced participation in thefts have bypassed human trafficking for sexual purposes, shows a recent report from the National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen - RPS), charting the development of human trafficking in Sweden during 2010. ...

According to the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (Landsorganisationen, LO), the number of trafficking victims who come to Sweden and end up in forced labour have grown noticeably.

"We definitely think we can see that," said Thord Ingesson, LO's expert on migration politics.

In December 2008, Sweden changed its laws on labour migration. According to LO, however, unreported figures are presumably high, and many who've received legal work permits since the law change have actually been working under forced conditions.

"I guarantee you we're talking about thousands of cases," said Ingesson.
[Site link]



Disease – tuberculosis
Britain will be 'swamped' by TB unless high-risk immigrants are routinely screened, experts warn
Anna Hodgekiss
Daily Mail, 7 December 2012

A leading doctor has warned that Britain will be 'swamped' by tuberculosis unless new measures to diagnose the disease in immigrants are introduced.

The disease, which was rife in Britain until the 1950s, is an increasing and worrying problem in urban areas. Rising immigration has seen a surge in cases in the last 20 years.

Under current rules, new immigrants from countries where TB is common are required to have chest X-rays before being allowed into Britain.

But doctors argue this century-old method only spots active TB once it is already destroying the lungs – meaning cases are often diagnosed far too late.

Other countries such as the U.S. use a blood test, which can detect the latent TB in those not displaying any symptoms. Cases have fallen since this technique was introduced in 2007.

At the British Thoracic Society conference this week, Peter Davies of the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, said urgent changes were needed to halt the decades-long rise in TB cases.

He told The Times: 'The tide has been coming in for 20 years, it's been getting bigger and bigger and if we don't do something we will be swamped with TB as we were 100 years ago.' ...

The main risk area is still London with 3,588 cases reported in 2011, accounting for 40 per cent of the UK total. And nearly three quarters of those suffering the disease were those not born in the UK. ...

Onn Min Kon, a consultant at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London, said that rates of the disease are continuing to rise and that the UK has the highest rates in Europe.

Echoing the sentiments of Mr Mandlebaum, he said even low risk people are susceptible if the disease is out of control, it being possible to become infected by being in the same room as someone with TB. ...

His research has found that a fifth of immigrants to Britain from high-risk areas had latent TB – but the current guidelines for screening men around 75 per cent of these cases will be missed, so the real figure may be substantially higher.

The Department of Health said that in line with NICE guidance, the NHS currently uses both chest X-ray screening and blood-testing to check for TB, with the evidence for new technologies kept under review.'
[Site link]


Disease – Greece
Insight - In vulnerable Greece, mosquitoes bite back
Kate Kelland
Reuters, 22 October 2012

Just when it seems things couldn't get any worse for Greece, the exhausted and indebted country has a new threat to deal with: mosquito-borne diseases. ...

Infectious disease experts here and at a European level agree that for now, at least in terms of patient numbers, the country's malaria problem pales beside its many other worries.

Some 59 cases of the parasitic infection have been recorded in Greece so far this year, 48 of which were imported either by migrants or returning Greek travellers. West Nile Virus cases are around three times that, at 159 so far this year.

Still, says Johan Giesecke, of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) cases of these diseases "should not be coming back".

"It's a serious problem," the ECDC's chief scientist says. ...

At the University of Thessaly, Christos Hadjichristodoulou, a consultant for the Hellenic Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (HCDCP) says the return of mosquito-borne diseases is primarily an issue not of health, but of immigration.

A country of 11 million people, Greece is a major gateway for Asian and African migrants trying to get to the EU. It is home to more than a million immigrants, both legal and illegal.

"We get a lot of immigrants from malaria-endemic countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan who spread throughout the country, including to areas where the risk is high because we have the vectors (mosquitoes)," said Hadjichristodoulou. ...

Hadjichristodoulou cites a survey of 6,000 immigrants in southern Greece which found that 60 percent of them had antibodies to malaria in their blood - meaning they had previously been infected with it.

With the form of malaria endemic to Pakistan and Afghanistan, known as vivax malaria, patients can relapse, often several times, allowing the disease to be picked up again by a hungry mosquito and spread to a new victim.
[Site link]


Rise in UK drug-resistant tuberculosis cases
BBC, 5 July 2012

Cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) in the UK have risen by over a quarter in the last year, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) has revealed.

In 2011, 431 cases did not respond to antibiotic treatment compared to 342 in 2010, the HPA said. About 550 more cases of TB were diagnosed in 2011. ...

Overall, just under 9,000 new cases of TB were recorded by the HPA in 2011, up from about 8,400 in 2010.
[Site link]


Disease – tuberculosis, visas
TB test for migrants who want British visa
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 22 May 2012

Migrants will have to be screened for tuberculosis before being issued with a visa to enter the UK.

New government measures mean people from 67 countries applying to enter Britain for more than six months must pass stringent health checks.

Immigration Minister Damian Green claimed the pre-entry TB screening programme will slash more than £40 million from hospital and airport security bills, as well as saving hundreds of lives.

The move comes as levels of the deadly disease in the UK have hit a 30-year high.

In Victorian times, TB accounted for about one in four deaths but improved living conditions and medicines largely wiped out the condition.

Now the disease is back with a vengeance. There were more than 9,000 cases last year – up five per cent on 2010 and 50 per cent higher than the 6,000 detected in the early 1990s.

Experts blame increased travel and immigration for contributing to soaring rates in the UK. New drug resistant strains of the disease are emerging. ...

Under the scheme, all migrants coming to the UK for more than six months from 67 nations identified as having a high incidence of TB by the World Health Organisation will need to be screened before being granted a visa. They must have a certificate from their home country before they can apply for a UK entry visa.

Screening costs will be paid by the people applying to come here. The minister said £25 million would be saved over 10 years through the removal of screening facilities at airports and a further £15 million would be cut from NHS bills by preventing the importation and spread of TB in the UK.

The programme came after research showed non-UK born people accounted for three-quarters of new TB cases – 20 times higher than in the UK-born population. ... ...

Countries identified by the WHO as having a high incidence of TB include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Ghana and Russia.
[Site link]


Tuberculosis: the government must act to curb this killer disease
The Observer, 25 March 2012
[Leading article]

Figures just released show a 5% rise in the numbers of new cases of tuberculosis in the UK. TB is still the number one killer globally, increasing enormously in some parts of the world such as the former Soviet Union and South Africa. As the Observer reports, the fight against new antibiotic-resistant strains of TB is being lost in some areas and could become a problem in countries such as India and China. ... One undiagnosed TB-infected person can infect 10 others a year. More than 350,000 people living with HIV died because of TB in 2010.

Yesterday marked World TB Day, the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the cause of TB, the TB bacillus: 130 years later, London is the capital of TB in western Europe. ...

The UK also needs to screen new immigrants from intermediate to high-incidence countries for active rather than latent TB. In addition, funding to fight TB along with HIV and malaria must be increased internationally, as Peter Hain argues in these pages.
[Site link]


Disease – costs
Free HIV treatment on NHS for foreign nationals
BBC, 28 February 2012

Foreign nationals are to be offered free treatment for HIV on the NHS under plans backed by the government.

Campaigners say the move in England will reduce the risk of Britons being infected and cut the costs of more expensive later treatment.

Currently only British residents are eligible, which excludes migrants.

The Department of Health said it would bring England into line with Scotland and Wales, and there would be safeguards against "health tourism".

There are an estimated 25,000 people with undiagnosed HIV in Britain, many of whom were born abroad.

People from overseas cannot be treated for the condition unless they pay, which is not the case for other infectious diseases.

This group of people includes failed asylum seekers, students and tourists.

Conservative former cabinet minister Lord Fowler, who headed the government's Aids awareness campaign in the 1980s, has called for an amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill currently before the Lords.

This would extend free treatment to those who have been in Britain for six months.
[Site link]



Diversity – medicine, USA
U.S. Spends $500 Mil to Racially Diversify Medical Fields
Judicial Watch, 20 December 2012

While the U.S. government commits senseless acts like skimping on consulate security in violent North African countries, it spends $500 million to help minorities – especially blacks – enter biomedical research fields where lack of diversity is "disturbing and disheartening."

The grand plan was announced this month by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation's medical research agency. As part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the NIH doles out north of $31 billion annually to hundreds of thousands of researchers at thousands of universities and institutions around the globe.

Last year the NIH sanctioned a study that determined blacks who apply for federal research grants are less likely than whites and Hispanics to receive the awards. The study took years and was conducted to "learn more about the challenges facing the scientific community," according to the NIH's director, and to improve the diversity of its biomedical research workforce. He called the findings "disturbing and disheartening."

That's because from 2000 to 2006, black researchers who applied for NIH grants were 10% less likely than whites to get the awards, according to the study, which is among the few to focus solely on the racial and ethnic composition of federal research funding applicants. Of additional concern is the low number of "non-white applicants" who apply for the public grants in the first place, the study found. ...

To right this wrong the NIH has created a 10-year plan that will dedicate $50 million annually to support hundreds of minority students with scholarships, research experiences and even graduate loan repayment. The agency will also create a new committee that makes "diversity a core consideration of NIH governance" and ensures fairness in the peer review system that erases "unconscious bias related to disparities in research awards." The plan also implements "implicit bias and diversity awareness training."
[Site link]


Diversity – judiciary
Diverse judiciary more than 50 years away, says supreme court justice
Owen Bowcott
The Guardian, 16 November 2012

It may take more than 50 years to achieve a diverse judiciary that reflects the makeup of society under current appointment procedures, a supreme court justice has warned.

Positive discrimination in favour of women and ethnic minority candidates is the only method likely to "accelerate the rate of progress significantly" and should be more widely debated as an option, according to Lord Sumption.

But affirmative action would cause more problems than it solves, he cautioned, and is "patronising". It would make becoming a judge a far less attractive prospect for those who should be recruited to the bench.

In a lecture to the Bar Council late on Thursday, delivered at Inner Temple Hall in central London, Sumption, who became one of 12 justices on the UK's supreme court earlier this year, said that expectations of rapid change were misplaced.

Tie-breaker legislation being introduced by the government in the crimes and courts bill – which allows the candidate from a less represented gender or background to be selected when two applicants are deemed to be of equal merit – would make little difference in practice, he believed. ...

At present, 23% of the judiciary in England and Wales are women; only 4% are from ethnic minorities, compared with 12% of the population. There is only one woman, Lady Justice Hale, on the supreme court. Those figures are shifting: the proportion of women in the judiciary has doubled and that of ethnic minority office-holders has trebled since 1998.

"Positive discrimination is, I believe, the only thing that is likely to accelerate the rate of progress significantly," Sumption said. "It does not of course follow that positive discrimination is desirable, and ... in my view it is not. But it should at least be on the menu.

"We need, as a society, to have an honest public debate about the hitherto unmentionable subject of positive discrimination. We have to decide whether we want to accept a measure of positive discrimination in the selection of judges, as the price of making faster progress towards judicial diversity.

"The real problem is that the debate has not happened. It has not happened because of the conventional assumption that merit and diversity are compatible, even in the short term."

"Because we are not prepared to recognise that selection on merit is only compatible with a move to a diverse bench over a considerable period of time, we have never thought seriously enough about the choice to be made between them. I doubt whether we can afford to tiptoe round these issues for much longer." ...

Affirmative action, however, could be a damaging shortcut. "Positive discrimination is patronising," Sumption stated. "Those women and ethnic minority candidates who have been appointed under the current system are justifiably proud of having achieved this under a system based exclusively on individual merit.

"Many, probably most of those who are not judges but aspire to be appointed, do so because the principle of selection on individual merit makes it an ambition worth achieving. A partial abandonment of that principle would therefore be likely to make judicial office a great deal less attractive to the very people that its proponents are trying to help." Patience is required, Sumption said.
[Site link]


Diversity – Metropolitan Police
Met Police 'could be sued over plan to give top jobs to black people and women'
Martin Beckford
Mail on Sunday, 4 November 2012

Britain's biggest police force is to become the first public body to adopt a policy that gives priority for top jobs to black people and women.

The Metropolitan Police will recruit senior officers and promote civilian staff from minority groups in 'tie-break' situations where they are just as qualified as white or male candidates.

Scotland Yard's diversity board has warned that the 'positive action' policy, made legal by equality laws last year, will be controversial.

The move could trigger lawsuits by job applicants who lose out and is likely to raise concerns that successful candidates were chosen to fill quotas rather than on merit. But a meeting chaired by Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe took the decision to use positive action after it was given Government advice.

Minutes of the policy forum meeting on July 11 state: 'The Forum were supportive of using a legal provision that could potentially deliver a more diverse workforce.

'It accepted the Diversity Board's caution but were confident that Legal Services could guide on the few occasions this provision would be used.' ...

The legislation, introduced in April last year, lets employers recruit or promote candidates if they have a 'protected characteristic', such as race, that is under-represented.

But Scotland Yard's Diversity Executive Board warned in an internal paper: 'This is legislation, ambiguously written, with no case law existing to support legal advice. No public or private sector organisations contacted have plans to use it.'
[Site link]


Diversity – education, USA
Diversity Forever
Heather Mac Donald
City Journal, 20 September 2012
[Heather Mac Donald is the John M. Olin Fellow at the Manhattan Institute]

The University of California, San Diego has done it again. Last year, it announced the creation of a new diversity sinecure: a vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion. Campus leaders established this post even as state budget cuts resulted in the loss of star scientists to competing universities, as humanities classes and degree programs were eliminated to save money, and as tuition continued its nearly 75 percent, five-year rise. The new vice chancellorship was wildly redundant with UCSD's already-existing diversity infrastructure. ...

Now UCSD has filled the position and announced the new vice chancellor's salary. Linda Greene, a diversity bureaucrat and law professor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will pull in $250,000 a year ... (By comparison, an internationally known expert in opto-electronics in UCSD's engineering school, whose recent work has focused on cancer nanotechnology, received a little over $150,000 in salary from UCSD in 2011, according to state databases.) ...

... And of course the diversity machine is operating at fully funded throttle throughout the rest of the University of California; among the diversity initiatives that continue to cascade out of the president's office and the individual campuses is an imminent $662,000, system-wide "campus climate survey" to track down the racism of UC's faculty, staff, and students ...

Greene's salary and perks are, of course, just the start of what her tenure as San Diego's new VC for EDI will cost taxpayers. ... The new VC for EDI will therefore undoubtedly also require a staff of massive proportions to support the expected "creativity and innovation." As a benchmark, UC Berkeley's own vice chancellor for equity and inclusion, Gibor Basri, whose princely salary of $200,000 suddenly looks piddling by comparison with Greene's, presides over a staff of 24, up from 17 a mere year ago. Estimating conservatively, a comparably bulked-up office for San Diego's new VC for EDI will run taxpayers close to $1 million a year, even before the VC's salary is added in. That million-plus could easily pay for over a dozen new professors just starting their careers or for scholarships for many more promising graduate or undergraduate students. ...

The creation of a massive diversity bureaucracy to police the faculty for bias against women and URMs can be justified only if there is evidence that the faculty need such policing. No one has yet presented a single example of UC San Diego's faculty discriminating against a highly ranked female or URM candidate because of skin color or gender. The opposite is of course the case: female and URM Ph.D.s enjoy enormous advantages in the hiring market at UCSD and everywhere else. ...

Diversity advocates try to mask the vacuousness of their enterprise with two strategies. First, the diversophile pretends that a new diversity initiative is the first time that the relevant institution has ever embarked on such an endeavor. ... Reality: "Diversity" has been an all-consuming and costly obsession at UCSD for years.

The second strategy consists of dressing up "diversity" activities with speciously technocratic rhetoric. In trying to portray diversity bean-counting as something akin to an actual skill, use of the phrase, "metrics," is de rigueur. A diversity bureaucrat doesn't count females and minorities, she uses "metrics," ... "Holistic" is another favored term.
[Site link]


Diversity – education, political correctness, USA
Academic Dishonesty
Walter E. Williams
CNSNews, 18 September 2012

Many of the nation's colleges and universities have become cesspools of indoctrination, intolerance, academic dishonesty and an "enlightened" form of racism. This is a decades-old trend.

In a 1991 speech, Yale President Benno Schmidt warned: "The most serious problems of freedom of expression in our society today exist on our campuses. The assumption seems to be that the purpose of education is to induce correct opinion rather than to search for wisdom and to liberate the mind."

Unfortunately, parents, taxpayers and donors have little knowledge of the extent of the dishonesty and indoctrination. There are several clues for telling whether there's academic dishonesty and indoctrination. One is to see whether a college spends millions for diversity and multiculturalism centers and hires directors of diversity and inclusion, managers of diversity recruitment, associate deans for diversity, and vice presidents of diversity. ...

An American Council of Trustees and Alumni survey in 2004 of 50 selective colleges found that 49 percent of students complained of professors frequently injecting political comments into their courses even if they had nothing to do with the subject, while 46 percent reported that professors used their classrooms to promote their own political views. ... ...

A recent National Association of Scholars report, "A Crisis of Competence," reported that the UCLA Higher Education Research Institute found that "more faculty now believe that they should teach their students to be agents of social change than believe that it is important to teach them the classics of Western civilization." Use of public funds for private advocacy not only is academic dishonesty but also borders on criminality.

In today's college climate, we shouldn't be surprised by the outcomes.

A survey conducted by the Center for Survey Research and Analysis at the University of Connecticut gave 81 percent of the seniors a D or an F in their knowledge of American history. Many students could not identify Valley Forge, words from the Gettysburg Address or even the basic principles of the U.S. Constitution. The National Center for Education Statistics reported that only 31 percent of college graduates can read and understand a complex book.

A 2007 national survey titled "Our Fading Heritage: Americans Fail a Basic Test on Their History and Institutions," by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, found that earning a college degree does little to increase knowledge of America's history. ...

A 2006 survey conducted by The Conference Board, Corporate Voices for Working Families, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and the Society for Human Resource Management found that only 24 percent of employers thought graduates of four-year colleges were "excellently prepared" for entry-level positions.

Our sad state of college education proves what my grandmother admonished: "If you're doing something you're not supposed to be doing, you can't do what you're supposed to do."
[Site link]


Diversity – USA
Stubborn Ignorance
Walter E. Williams
GOPUSA, 25 July 2012
[Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University]

Academic intelligentsia, their media, government and corporate enthusiasts worship at the altar of diversity. Despite budget squeezes, universities have created diversity positions, such as director of diversity and inclusion, manager of diversity recruitment, associate dean for diversity, vice president of diversity and perhaps minister of diversity. This is all part of a quest to get college campuses, corporate offices and government agencies to "look like America."

For them, part of looking like America means race proportionality. For example, if blacks are 13 percent of the population, they should be 13 percent of college students and professors, corporate managers and government employees. Law professors, courts and social scientists have long held that gross statistical disparities are evidence of a pattern and practice of discrimination. Behind this vision is the stupid notion that but for the fact of discrimination, we'd be distributed proportionately by race across incomes, education, occupations and other outcomes. There's no evidence from anywhere on earth or any time in human history that shows that but for discrimination, there would be proportional representation and an absence of gross statistical disparities, by race, sex, height or any other human characteristic. Nonetheless, much of our thinking, legislation and public policy is based upon proportionality being the norm. Let's run a few gross disparities by you, and you decide whether they represent what the courts call a pattern and practice of discrimination and, if so, what corrective action you would propose.

Jews are not even 1 percent of the world's population and only 3 percent of the U.S. population, but they are 20 percent of the world's Nobel Prize winners and 39 percent of U.S. Nobel laureates. That's a gross statistical disparity, but are the Nobel committees discriminating against the rest of us? By the way, in the Weimar Republic, Jews were only 1 percent of the German population, but they were 10 percent of the country's doctors and dentists, 17 percent of its lawyers and a large percentage of its scientific community. Jews won 27 percent of Nobel Prizes won by Germans.

Nearly 80 percent of the players in the National Basketball Association in 2011 were black, and 17 percent were white, but if that disparity is disconcerting, Asians were only 1 percent. Compounding the racial disparity, the highest-paid NBA players are black. That gross disparity works the other way in the National Hockey League, in which less than 3 percent of the players are black. ... ...

There are some other disparities that might bother the diversity people. Asians routinely get the highest scores on the math portion of the SAT, whereas blacks get the lowest. Men are about 50 percent of the population, and so are women, but there's the gross injustice that men are struck by lightning six times as often as women.
[Site link]


Diversity – employment, discrimination, USA
Test Pattern or Job Discrimination? The Paradox of Ability Tests in Hiring
Christine M. Riordan and Robert D. Gatewood
MarketWatch, 23 July 2012

Christine M. Riordan, Ph.D. is the dean and a professor of management at the Daniels College of Business, an internationally ranked business school, at the University of Denver. Robert D. Gatewood, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus at the University of Georgia and the author of Human Resource Selection (7th ed.)

On July 19th, 2012, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced it reached a settlement with Leprino Foods on a discrimination suit. The dispute involved the company's practice of using ability tests to assess candidates' skills in applied mathematics, locating information, and observation, for hiring laborers.

The DOL held that these tests had adverse impact on Asians, Hispanics, and African-Americans. The DOL claimed that these groups of applicants scored lower on the tests, on average, than did Caucasian applicants and Leprino, therefore, did not hire them. More importantly, the DOL cited a lack of evidence from the company to prove these ability tests related to job performance. In the settlement, Leprino agreed to pay back-wages of over $550,000 to those applicants it did not hire and will ultimately employ thirteen of the original applicants.

This illustrates a dilemma in hiring practices facing many organizations. And, it will only increase as the demographic and ethnic populations of the labor pool changes.

The dilemma is that renowned psychologists such as Frank Schmidt, John Hunter, and Philip Bobko have shown that ability tests, usually written tests that measure some form of knowledge, are exceptional predictors of job performance. Thus, as a tool for determining applicants' suitability for jobs, they are among the best in predicting applicants' future job performance.

However, the use of these tests usually results in adverse impact - meaning that employers that use these tests are less likely to hire non-Caucasians. This adverse impact triggers the interest of various governmental review agencies such as the DOL and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Employers must think critically about the use of strong selection tests that also have a high probability of rejecting a larger proportion of applicants of color and ethnic diversity than Caucasian applicants. Among the implications of this pattern of rejection: applicants may file discrimination suits and government agencies may review the selection program. Perhaps as importantly, though, the organization is cutting itself off from major segments of the labor pool that are becoming increasingly larger.
[Site link]


Diversity – army
Threats to Army units failing to recruit ethnic minorities
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 8 June 2012

Army units facing abolition or merger must do more to recruit soldiers from ethnic minorities, ministers have signalled.

Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, said that coming reforms in structure must "make sure the Army reflects the Britain of today".

Army chiefs are preparing to reshape the force because of cuts that will reduce it to 82,000 regular soldiers. The restructuring will mean entire battalions are disbanded while others are merged.

Speaking at an Army conference yesterday, Mr Hammond laid out the criteria on which units will be judged, including "recruitment performance".

"The British Army needs to reflect British society," he said. "This is clearly a challenge now; to recruit from the ethnic minorities within British society in proportions that reflect that society." ...

Sources insisted there is no question of setting quotas for units, but ministers are understood be worried that the Army is failing to recruit enough black and Asian Britons, with particular concerns over recruitment in cities in northern England.

Less than seven per cent of the Armed Forces are from ethnic minorities. That figure includes a significant number of personnel from outside the country, meaning the proportion of non-white British citizens is significantly lower.

By contrast, the Office for National Statistics estimates that around 15 per cent of the population is non-white.
[Site link]


Diversity – health services, NHS
NHS launches 'diversity week' with transgender art
Laura Donnelly
Sunday Telegraph, 20 May 2012

The NHS has funded a "human rights week" with dozens of events including a photographic exhibition to celebrate transgender staff.

Hundreds of managers and front line workers are due to attend conferences and workshops on equality and diversity this week. ...

The events include two all-day conferences involving at least 170 health care managers. ...

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said the health service was being hit hard by the demand for efficiency savings and could not afford an expensive week of events.

Funding should only be authorised when it could be shown that it would improve care for patients, she said.

"Ensuring equality and diversity needs to be one of the fundamental elements of the way an NHS trust operates. It shouldn't need a costly and distracting week of events and conferences to ensure that this message is communicated effectively." ...

NHS Employers, the body organising the first "NHS Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week", defended its decision to go ahead with the plans at a time of austerity, but was unable to say how much the week's events will cost.
[Site link]


Diversity – political correctness
Storm as Law Society bans conference debating gay marriage
John Bingham
Daily Telegraph, 12 May 2012

The Law Society has banned a conference on family issues to be addressed by a senior High Court judge because debating gay marriage breached its "diversity policy".

Sir Paul Coleridge, the Family Division judge who recently launched a new charity to combat marital break-up, had been lined up as the main speaker at the annual event at the Law Society's London headquarters later this month.

But organisers were forced to cancel it at short notice after the Law Society ruled that the programme reflected "an ethos which is opposed to same sex marriage".

They accused the Society, which represents solicitors in England and Wales, of an "extraordinary" attempt to stifle debate on current affairs and warned that the cancellation itself could be against equality laws. ...

Same-sex marriage is not currently legal in Britain, although a consultation is under way on a possible change in the law.

Andrea Williams, director of Christian Concern, which is a member of the World Congress of Families said: "It is just extraordinary that the professional body that regulates solicitors in this country is censoring debate on a major change in the law that will inevitably have massive consequences for society. ..."
[Site link]


Diversity Training Doesn't Work
Peter Bregman
Harvard Business Review blog, 12 March 2012

There are two reasons to do diversity training. One is to prevent lawsuits. The other is to create an inclusive environment in which each member of the community is valued, respected, and can fully contribute their talents. That includes reducing bias and increasing the diversity of the employee and management population.

Lana made it clear to me that Bedia was interested in the second reason, not just the first, and I agreed to investigate.

But after speaking with a number of people in the organization, it confirmed a feeling that had been pestering me for years:

Diversity training doesn't extinguish prejudice. It promotes it. ...

The second training – the one that categorized people – was worse. Just like the first training, it was ridiculed, ironically in ways that clearly violated the recommendations from the first training. And rather than changing attitudes of prejudice and bias, it solidified them.

This organization's experience is not an exception. It's the norm.

A study of 829 companies over 31 years showed that diversity training had "no positive effects in the average workplace." Millions of dollars a year were spent on the training resulting in, well, nothing. Attitudes – and the diversity of the organizations – remained the same.

It gets worse. The researchers – Frank Dobbin of Harvard, Alexandra Kalev of Berkeley, and Erin Kelly of the University of Minnesota – concluded that "In firms where training is mandatory or emphasizes the threat of lawsuits, training actually has negative effects on management diversity."

Which shouldn't come as a surprise, actually. Anybody who has ever been scolded is familiar with the tendency to rebel against the scolding.

But it's deeper than that. When people divide into categories to illustrate the idea of diversity, it reinforces the idea of the categories. ...

Categories are dehumanizing. They simplify the complexity of a human being. So focusing people on the categories increases their prejudice.

The solution? Instead of seeing people as categories, we need to see people as people. Stop training people to be more accepting of diversity. It's too conceptual, and it doesn't work.
[Site link]


Diversity – education
Companies told: stop prioritising job applicants with top degrees
Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 28 February 2012

Major corporations risk discriminating against thousands of students by prioritising job applicants with good degree grades from elite universities, a Government-commissioned review warns today.

Recruitment programmes that filter out candidates who fail gain at least 2:1 degrees run counter to many employers' duties to hire a "diverse" workforce, it is claimed.

It is believed as many as three-quarters of top employers currently require good grades as a minimum threshold for an interview.

But Prof Sir Tim Wilson, who carried out the review, said that focusing on students from a small number of universities – often leading research institutions – was "too narrow".

He called on graduate employers to carry out a systematic review of screening policies amid fears companies could be missing out on talented candidates from non-traditional backgrounds.
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Diversity – affirmative action, USA
Affirmative action and the enemies of diversity
Kevin Powell
The Guardian, 25 February 2012

I knew that when the United States supreme court decided recently to hear a major case involving race-conscious admissions at a US college, it had also decided, regrettably, to re-open decades-old wounds and ugliness around the issue of affirmative action. ...

Indeed, affirmative action is such a messy and controversial subject that President Obama's White House has barely uttered a word about this new episode, and neither Democratic nor Republican leaders, in this presidential campaign cycle, want to touch it either. ...

This current matter involves a young white woman named Abigail Fisher, who says she was denied admission to the University of Texas because of her race. In the state of Texas students in the top 10% of high schools academically are automatically admitted to the public university system. It is not an initiative that considers race, but it does produce greater racial diversity because so many Texas high schools are multicultural. Fisher barely missed the cut with this policy, but she therefore entered another applicant pool where race does play a role in the selection process. She was not admitted, and sued the school in 2008.

It should be noted that Fisher will be graduating very soon from Louisiana State University, but she has continued on with this battle. Her argument is that Texas has a double standard. On the one hand, it says it has a race-neutral posture on college admissions. On the other, her lawyers maintain that Texas has a race-conscious procedure that discriminates against white students. Texas officials respond that their policy is the only way to guarantee more students of color are able to attend Texas public colleges and universities. ...

... Racism, as well as class prejudice, are alive and well at every level of the American social order. Moreover, affirmative action, like the civil rights movement itself, is not solely about black people, but also about Latinos, Native Americans, poor people, women, persons with disabilities, and the LGBT community, too – essentially, any group that has been historically marginalized and discriminated against in our nation.

For my immediate community, black Americans, we are still living with the tragic legacy of slavery and Jim Crow, which was a legalized form of racial apartheid.
[Site link]


Diversity – civil servants
Ministry of Defence civil servant awarded ú86,000 bonus
Sean Rayment
Sunday Telegraph, 19 February 2012

Ministry of Defence civil servants have been awarded £40 million in bonuses despite fierce criticism of the department. ...

The bonuses have been paid since April last year and have seen more than 55,000 officials awarded extra payments for their performance - out of a payroll of 83,000. ...

Bonuses remain a controversial area of pay within the MoD and are linked to a complicated series of targets which can range from cost savings to hitting diversity targets.
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Diversity – television
Midsomer Murders to introduce more ethnic minorities
Andy Bloxham
Daily Telegraph, 27 January 2012

Midsomer Murders, the television drama, is to introduce more ethnic minority characters to better represent its audience.

Jo Wright, the producer of the ITV programme, said the next series would "continue to develop and evolve as a drama".

Her comments come after her predecessor lost his job after saying non-white characters had no place in the show. ...

Her comments to The Radio Times come a year after her predecessor, Brian True-May, was suspended after making remarks perceived as racist. Mr True-May said the show was "the last bastion of Englishness" and "wouldn't work" if ethnic minorities appeared on screen.

Anthony Horowitz, the award-winning writer who helped create the show, later defended Mr True-May, saying that it made perfect sense that villages in the fictional county of Midsomer should have no black faces. Mr True-May left his job at the end of the last series.
[Site link]


Diversity – employment, USA
Pepsi Beverages pays $3M in racial bias case
Sam Hananel
USA Today, 12 January 2012

Pepsi Beverages will pay $3.1 million to settle federal charges of race discrimination for using criminal background checks to screen out job applicants – even if they weren't convicted of a crime.

The settlement announced Wednesday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is part of a national government crackdown on hiring policies that can hurt blacks and Hispanics.

EEOC officials said the company's policy of not hiring workers with arrest records disproportionately excluded more than 300 black applicants. The policy barred applicants who had been arrested, but not convicted of a crime, and denied employment to others who were convicted of minor offenses.

Using arrest and conviction records to deny employment can be illegal if it's irrelevant for the job, according to the EEOC, which enforces the nation's employment discrimination laws. The agency says such blanket policies can limit job opportunities for minorities with higher arrest and conviction rates than whites. ...

Pepsi Beverage spokesman Dave DeCecco said the company's criminal background check policy has always been neutral and that the EEOC did not find any intentional discrimination. He said after the issue was first raised in 2006, the company worked with the EEOC to revise its background check process "to create a workplace that is as diverse and inclusive as possible."

"We are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion and we have been widely recognized for our efforts for decades," DeCecco said.

About 73% of major employers report that they always check on applicants' criminal records, while 19% do so for select job candidates, according to a 2010 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management. ...

Pepsi Beverages is PepsiCo's beverage manufacturing, sales and distribution operating unit in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
[Site link]



Egalitarianism – employment
Equality or Inequality
Walter E. Williams
Townhall, 29 February 2012
[Dr. Williams is John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics at George Mason University]

Kay S. Hymowitz's article "Why the Gender Gap Won't Go Away. Ever," in City Journal (Summer 2011), shows that female doctors earn only 64 percent of the income that male doctors earn. What should be done about that? It turns out that only 16 percent of surgeons are women but 50 percent of pediatricians are women. Even though surgeons have many more years of education and training than do pediatricians, should Congress equalize their salaries or make pediatricians become surgeons?

Wage inequality is everywhere. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Asian men and women earn more than white men and women. Female cafeteria attendants earn more than their male counterparts. Females who are younger than 30 and have never been married earn salaries 8 percent higher than males of the same description. Among women who graduated from college during 1992-93, by 2003 more than one-fifth were no longer in the workforce, and another 17 percent were working part time. That's to be compared with only 2 percent of men in either category. Hymowitz cites several studies showing significant career choice and lifestyle differences between men and women that result in income inequality.

There are other inequalities that ought to be addressed. With all of the excitement about New York Knick Jeremy Lin's rising stardom, nobody questions league domination by blacks, who are a mere 13 percent of our population but constitute 80 percent of NBA players and are the highest-paid ones. It's not much better in the NFL, with blacks being 65 percent of its players. Colleges have made diversity their primary calling, but watch any basketball game and you'd be hard-put to find white players in roles other than bench warming. Worse than that, Japanese, Chinese and American Indian players aren't even recruited for bench warming.

There's inequality in most jobs. According to 2010 BLS data, the following jobs contain 1 percent female workers or less: boilermaking, brickmasonry, stonemasonry, septic tank servicing, sewer pipe cleaning and working with reinforcing iron and rebar. Maybe the reason female workers aren't in these occupations is that too many are in other occupations. Females are 97 percent of preschool and kindergarten teachers, 80 percent of social workers, 82 percent of librarians and 92 percent of dietitians and nutritionists and registered nurses.

Anyone with one ounce of brains can see the problem and solution. Congress has permitted – and even fostered – a misallocation of people by race, sex and ethnicity. Courts have consistently concluded that "gross" disparities are probative of a pattern and practice of discrimination. So what to do? One remedy that Congress might consider is to require females, who are overrepresented in fields such as preschool and kindergarten teaching, to become boilermakers and brickmasons and mandate that male boilermakers and brickmasons become preschool and kindergarten teachers until both of their percentages are equal to their percentages in the population. ...

Nobel laureate Milton Friedman said: "A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both." Equality before the general rules of law is the only kind of equality conducive to liberty that can be secured without destroying liberty.
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Egalitarianism – religion
Religious freedom under threat from courts, professor warns
David Shariatmadari
The Guardian, 25 January 2012

Religious freedom in the US and Europe is under threat from the courts, an Oxford professor has warned.

In his latest book, Equality, Freedom and Religion, Roger Trigg, who runs the Centre for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Kellogg College, argues: "There has been a clear trend for courts in Europe and North America to prioritise equality and non-discrimination above religion, placing the right to religious freedom in danger." ...

Trigg says that rather than some rights being deemed more fundamental than others, those that are likely come into conflict should be more fairly balanced.
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Emigration – immigration
British 'brain drain' of professionals raises concerns over skills shortages
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 6 November 2012

An increasing middle-class "brain drain" of British professionals moving abroad to live and work is raising concerns about future skills shortages in the UK, Home Office research has found.

The study of emigration from Britain reveals that an estimated 4.7 million UK-born people now live abroad, with Australia consistently the most popular destination over the past 20 years.

The research also discloses that, contrary to popular wisdom, fewer people emigrate from Britain at times of rising unemployment as they find it harder to sell-up and fund their move abroad. ...

The study found that those moving abroad are overwhelmingly (93%) of working age and that the popular image of Brits retiring to the Spanish Costas is in decline. Only 4,000 people of retirement age moved abroad in 2010, down from a peak of 22,000 in 2006. The fall reflects the end of the house price bubble in Britain during which homeowners could sell up and live more cheaply abroad, while enjoying the better climate and quality of life. The largest numbers of British pensioners living abroad are not in Spain at all but are to be found in Australia, Canada and the US, reflecting the large British communities who settled in those countries years ago.

The Office of National Statistics says emigration from Britain rose sharply over the past decade from 363,000 a year to a peak of 427,000 in 2008. Since then it has fallen back to 350,000 a year. Long-term migrants are defined as those who move abroad for at least 12 months.

British emigrants account for 149,000 or 43% of the 350,000 who left Britain to live abroad during 2011. The remaining 57% were made up of almost equal numbers of European Union and non-EU citizens returning home after living and working in Britain.

It also found that citizens of other EU countries, who face shorter travel distances and lower costs, are far more likely to return home after living in Britain than those from the rest of the world. Migrants from the Indian sub-continent and the Caribbean Commonwealth countries are also more likely to settle in Britain than those who come to live in Britain from Australia, New Zealand or America.

The Home Office study says a large and increasing proportion of British citizens moving abroad are those from the professional or managerial occupations and this has implications for the future availability of skills in Britain.

This group made up just over a third or 37% of British emigrants in 1991 but reached nearly half or 48% in 2010 after a steady year-on-year rise until the global recession of 2008. Most moved abroad to a definite job rather than simply speculative looking for work. ...

The largest British communities around the world are in Australia (1.2 million), the US (701,000), Canada (675,000) and Spain (411,000).
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British families want out as more seek relaxed life abroad
Andrew Hough
Daily Telegraph, 2 November 2012

A majority of middle-class families want to leave Britain because it no longer offers them an adequate quality of life, a new survey has concluded.

Researchers found almost two in three families wanted to emigrate overseas because of the poor weather, rude locals and a celebrity-obsessed culture.

Families say they also want to escape the economic downturn, expensive housing and the "loss of community spirit and neighbourliness" in British society.

The survey, conducted by the University of Huddersfield, also found most wanted a new, more relaxed life in a community with a more optimistic "can do" attitude.

Despite celebrating a year when British national pride is arguably at its highest, families admitted they wanted their "children to grow up in a country with a stronger sense of community than they believe exists in the UK".

Australia was the first country of choice, with almost one in three wanting to move Down Under, followed by the United States, New Zealand, Canada and a host of European countries such as Spain, France and Italy. ...

"The comparative prosperity of our nation and children is fundamental to our sense of 'Britishness'," said Prof Paul Ward, co-director of university's Academy of British and Irish Studies and the report's author.

"But losing this position in the world's economy is prompting many Brits to reconsider where they live.

"Many are choosing places founded by British settlers which retain core British values, or values similar to them, but are more affluent and in a better position to invest in economic drivers for the future such as health, education and transport."

He added: "Many of the families we speak to, tell us they want to live in a community that embodies old-fashioned British values while enjoying a warmer climate and better work-life balance."

The report, titled When the British built Adelaide they wanted to build a better Britain, suggested that "old-fashioned British values, thriving community spirit and a more relaxed way of life" were evident in the South Australian capital.
[Site link]


Emigration – Romania
Romania's population falls by 12% as three million flock to richer European countries including Britain
Rick Dewsbury
Daily Mail, 4 February 2012

Romania's population has fallen by more than 12 per cent since 2002 as hundreds of thousands leave the poverty-stricken nation for richer countries such as Britain.

Figures from the latest Romanian census reveal that migration and a low birth rate have pushed the population down to 19 million, a fall of almost 3 million in ten years.

The country's National Statistics Board said nearly 1 million Romanians were working abroad.

However, other estimates suggest the number of expatriate workers could be 3 million.

There is no official figure for the number of Romanians in the UK, but British bosses advertised 2,400 vacancies last month alone on a Romanian website for nurses, engineers and other jobs.

Unemployment in Britain is at 8.4 per cent, but many firms seek staff from impoverished nations such as Romania – the second-poorest in the EU after Bulgaria – to work for low wages.

Although Romania joined the EU in 2007, its citizens still need permission from the UK Border Agency to work here. ...

Hungarians make up 6.5 per cent of the population and 3.2 per cent, or 619,000, described themselves as Roma.

Rights group say many Roma do not declare their background, some of them fearing discrimination, and the true number could be as high as 2.5 million. That would be the largest Roma community in Europe.

The statistics office estimates about a million people were not included in the data because they did not complete the forms or are living abroad and were not declared by relatives.

Dumitrescu said the agency would release more detailed data in late May and there could still be some significant changes to the figures.
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Extra 20,000 foreign workers could head to the UK
Wesley Johnson
Daily Telegraph, 27 December 2012

More than 20,000 foreign workers from outside the EU could flock to Britain to replace Romanian and Bulgarian fruit pickers who will be tempted by better jobs when work restrictions are lifted next year (Dec 2013).

The new wave of overseas workers should be allowed to come from countries including Ukraine, Moldova and Croatia, despite 2.51 million unemployed people in the UK, the National Farmers' Union (NFU) said.

Unemployed Britons tend to be based in cities and few are interested in short-term, seasonal work on farms in rural areas, they added. ...

The Government's immigration advisers are considering the impact on the UK and its seasonal workers on farms once restrictions are lifted and migrants from Romania and Bulgaria can take any job in the UK from January 1 2014.

Numbers of Romanians and Bulgarians living in the UK have already jumped from 29,000 to 155,000 since the two countries joined the EU five years ago, and one Conservative MP, Philip Hollobone, has predicted this could treble again to 425,000 within two years of the restrictions being lifted.
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Employment – economy
Immigration caps don't hamper the economic recovery. Why pretend otherwise?
Andrew Green
The Spectator, 28 October 2012

The immigration lobby are getting desperately short of arguments to set against the huge costs of mass immigration. The first body blow was a House of Lords report which 'found no evidence...... that net migration generates significant economic benefits for the existing UK population' (see ...). This was followed by a report from the government's own Migration Advisory Committee which pointed out that much of any benefit goes to the immigrants themselves. (see Paragraphs 3.6-3.13 ...). Then a study by the NIESR found that the contribution of the much vaunted East European migrants to GDP per head was expected to be 'negligible' (see Exec Summary ...), indeed negative in the long run.

So their latest ploy is to claim that immigration control is a barrier to the vital task of economic recovery. You only have to glance at the facts to see that this also collapses. There is no limit on senior staff transfers between international companies nor, of course, on any form of recruitment from the EEA – a pool of over 500 million people. Tier 1, the route for self-starters, was effectively closed after evidence that a significant proportion ended up in unskilled roles such as shop assistants, security guards, and supermarket cashiers. (see ...) Tier 2, for skilled workers sponsored by employers, was capped at 20,700 a year but in its first year, only about half that quota has been taken up. (see ...) How is that for a killer blow? Meanwhile, improved routes have been introduced for entrepreneurs and investors. (see ...) Given all this, it is hard to believe that some are questioning whether Britain is 'open for business' – especially when we receive one and a half million business visitors a year. Someone must be doing some business!

Nor should employers be our only concern. Since 2000, the British labour market has expanded by just over 2 million, virtually all of whom were foreign born. (see ...) Whatever the technical arguments, it is clear that, over the boom period up to 2008, British workers were not drawn into the active labour market as would have been desirable. Obviously, immigration is not the only factor. There are issues of motivation, welfare provision, education and training but it does seem clear that, if employers are entirely free to bring in cheap, flexible and non-unionised labour, they are likely to do so – especially if they are tied to them by the work permit system. For wider social reasons it is important that there should be some countervailing pressure on employers to train and employ British workers. Two and a half million people unemployed is more than enough.

Those who are protesting the loudest should be clear about the kind of immigration policy that they advocate. If they want a virtually open door they should say so and say how they would address the consequences. Immigration at current levels will add five million to the UK population in the next fifteen years. To accommodate the extra numbers we would have to build the equivalent of eight major cities – Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Sheffield, Bradford, Manchester, Liverpool and Bristol. We already have a major housing crisis to say nothing of an empty exchequer. Need I say more?
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Employment – UK, European Union
EU pays migrants to snatch our jobs
Martyn Brown
Daily Express, 20 October 2012

An EU plot to lure migrants to Britain's job market by offering them gifts of over £1,000 triggered outrage last night.

Thousands could be given travel expenses and their moving costs to entice them to work in the UK under the European Commission scheme.

Each hopeful would get £250 to help them get an interview and £830 to cover relocation costs if they are offered a job.

Brussels says the taxpayer-funded scheme will enable thousands of youngsters from across the EU to find work here – and British workers will be able to use it to get work in Europe too.

But critics fear it will bring an influx of youngsters from countries with high unemployment, like Spain and Greece.

The plan reignites the debate over the need to give British jobs to British workers and comes at a time when a million UK youngsters are unemployed.

The scheme is aimed at matching jobseekers aged 18 to 30 with suitable vacancies.

It is being piloted in Spain – where youth unemployment is over 50 per cent – Germany, Denmark and Italy but Brussels plans to extend it EU-wide.
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Employment – politics, racism, multiculturalism
Chris Bryant: British Jobs For British Workers
Dina Rickman
Huffington Post, 2 October 2012

Labour's shadow immigration minister has suggested companies should take responsibility for giving jobs to people from the UK.

In an updated echo of Gordon Brown's 'British jobs for British people' Chris Bryant said industry should do more to ensure workers from the UK take jobs in hospitality, construction and agriculture.

Speaking at a fringe event hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group On Migration at the Labour Party conference and chaired by The Huffington Post UK in Manchester on Monday, Bryant said: "Sometimes people's concerns about migration are really concerns about jobs for themselves.

"In particular I think there are three industries, the hospitality industry, the construction industry and agriculture who have done remarkably little to make sure there are British people able to come in [and work in] those industries.

"Why is it that you go to a hotel in France and you're welcomed by a French person, that's delightful.

"You've actually got to invest in skills and training and make sure you've got the balance and work force that is going to take on those jobs."

Speaking to HuffPost UK after the event, Bryant said Labour's immigration policy couldn't be defined in a "nutshell".

"It's not in a nutshell. You can't do it in a nutshell and I don't want to do any of it in a nutshell. In the end there's about 30 different issues that impact upon immigration."

Bryant also denied there was any friction at the top of the Labour party in creating immigration policy but admitted the party had "made some mistakes".

"Although some people who talk about immigration and think it's the most important thing in this country are racist, just because you're interested in immigration doesn't make you a racist. Many people in this country I've spoken to in the black and ethnic minority communities worry about migration," he said.

"I've had a lot of Asian women say to me they don't like the men in their community going to the Indian subcontinent to find a bride who is not as British as them."
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Britain must limit European immigration during the recession, says ex-Labour minister Frank Field
Rowena Mason
Daily Telegraph, 22 May 2012

Britain must stop letting in so many immigrants from Europe during the recession because the job market is "flooded", Downing Street's poverty adviser has warned.

Frank Field, a former Labour minister and MP for Birkenhead, said immigration from Europe was a major reason that millions of people are struggling to find jobs in the recession.

He said it would be increasingly difficult for unemployed British people to find work while the "market is flooded with over-qualified applicants from Europe".

He said temporary restrictions would help give the Government's welfare reforms a "fair wind", as ministers try to encourage the long-term workless back into jobs.

"During the recession, the Government just needs to tell Brussels that we just can't have free movement of labour," he told The Daily Telegraph.

"How is Iain Duncan-Smith [the Work and Pensions Secretary] going to get people off benefits into work if the market is flood with over-qualified people from Europe?

"There's a huge haemorrhaging of Tory support to UKIP. I would have thought the leadership should look at an idea that would appeal to Tory and indeed many Labour voters." ...

However, the Government quickly dismissed Mr Field's suggestions as it could make it difficult for British people to get jobs abroad.

Damian Green, the immigration minister, said "closing off" the European market would "badly impact" workers. ...

Earlier this month, Switzerland said workers from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia would have to seek authorisation before arriving for work.

The country is not in the European Union (EU), but it said immigration from the economic bloc would now be subject to quotas.

At the time, the EU warned Switzerland it was in breach of a free movement treaty and hinted it could face legal action.
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Boris calls for 'honest and unflinching' investigation into why so many British jobs are being given to foreign workers
Daily Mail, 7 May 2012

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has announced an 'honest and unflinching' inquiry into why young British jobseekers are 'losing out' to foreign workers.

Just days after his re-election to City Hall, the Mayor has used his column in the Daily Telegraph to unveil plans to investigate why 'contestants from abroad' are filling jobs instead of young Londoners. ...

He says one of his first priorities for his second term will be to analyse the issue, expanding an inquiry into education to include the jobs market.


Earlier this year, official figures from the Office for National Statistics showed the number of British-born workers with a job crashed by 208,000 last year.

But that was the opposite of what was happening to foreign-born workers, with numbers jumping by 212,000 last year.
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Employment – European Union
EU wants to open UK job floodgates
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 23 April 2012

Meddling Brussels bureaucrats are demanding the UK open its depressed jobs market to millions of Romanian and Bulgarian workers.

Just days after figures confirm millions of Britons are still on the dole, unelected EU commissioner Lazslo Andor called for a relaxation on work restrictions for Eastern Europeans.

He wants Britain to act more than 18 months before the official deadline to drop the ban comes into force.

Mr Andor claimed the need for work permits should be removed because of "the overall positive impact" migrant workers have had on other countries. ...

Tory backbench MP, Peter Bone said: "The commissioner's demands fly in the face of what the British public want. They want tougher controls."
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Employment – doctors
NHS team to test English of foreign doctors
Robert Winnett
Daily Telegraph, 18 April 2012

Five hundred senior doctors are to be given the job of preventing foreign-born staff with poor English from working in the NHS, the Health Secretary will announce.

The 500 "responsible officers" will have to ensure that doctors working in the health service have the necessary language skills and understand British processes and medicines. ...

A consultation on the plan, which follows several cases of doctors with poor English making serious mistakes, will be announced today by Andrew Lansley. ...

The 500 responsible officers, who will be in senior posts such as medical directors of trusts, could be recruited as soon as the summer. About a third of doctors in England are foreign-born and only those from outside the EU are routinely subject to language tests. The new rules would cover all doctors, including GPs. ...

In the autumn, Mr Lansley is expected to go further and change the law to ensure that those barred from working in the NHS because of their language skills are struck off the approved register of doctors.
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Employment – crime
EU migrants with criminal convictions get jobs denied to British workers under new criminal records regime
Gordon Rayner
Daily Telegraph, 7 April 2012

Migrants with criminal convictions will be able to get jobs denied to British workers under a new EU-wide criminal records regime being adopted this month.

In Britain, even the most minor convictions for student pranks or breaches of the peace can come back to haunt jobseekers years later if they apply for positions as teachers, policemen or other "sensitive" roles.

But migrants from EU countries applying for the same jobs will be given a clean bill of health, even if they have similar convictions, because other countries either wipe the slate clean or do not keep records of low-level offences.

The problem also applies to British workers trying to get jobs in other EU countries.

Justice campaigners have described the situation as "scandalous" and have asked MEPs and the Home Office to address the issue as a matter of urgency.

The problem arose after Britain signed up to a trial of the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS), a new system of sharing criminal records between EU member states which is being permanently adopted this month.

Britain's rigorous Criminal Records Bureau regime means that even convictions classed as "spent" remain on file for life and can be thrown up during background checks by potential employers anywhere in the EU.

In stark contrast, countries such as Belgium and Germany routinely destroy after just three years records of convictions resulting in prison sentences of less than six months or fines of less than 500 euros. ...

The pilot scheme began under Labour in 2006, when ACPO set up the UK Central Authority for the Exchange of Criminal Records.

Since then, several other EU members have set up similar bodies, and by last month the UK was able to share criminal records with Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovakia.

The remaining EU member states have to join the ECRIS scheme when it goes EU-wide this month. ...

Under the ECRIS regime, requests for background checks between one member state and another are sent back with code numbers for different types of offence.

Critics say the system is over-simplified and means that a £10 fine for stealing a traffic cone as a student prank in the UK would come up as a conviction for theft, regardless of the seriousness of the offence.

The same offence in many other EU countries would not appear at all on an ECRIS check.
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Employment – nurses
Patient care 'will suffer' under plans to throw out migrant nurses
Daniel Boffey
The Observer, 25 March 2012

Ministers have been accused of risking patient health in favour of a "crude" immigration policy after government documents revealed that almost half of the nurses from abroad now working in the NHS will be forced to leave Britain under new plans.

Theresa May, the home secretary, has announced that migrants from outside the European Union earning less than £35,000 will not be allowed to settle in the UK. The pay threshold, which will see people beginning to be removed in 2016, is the first time that a British government has imposed an economic test on the right to settlement in the UK and is designed to break the link between working and settling in the country.

However, a government impact assessment reveals the change will cut the number of NHS nurses by "hundreds or low thousands" and cost the economy up to £433m over the next 10 years as economically active people leave, a figure disputed by the UK Border Agency. The impact assessment says: "We estimate 48% of migrant nurses, 37% of primary school teachers, 35% of IT/software professionals and 9% of secondary teachers would be excluded." ...

The pay threshold will apply to people wanting to remain permanently after more than five years working in the UK but it is expected to provide a disincentive to any migrant nurses whose services the country have need of in the future.
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Employment – blacks
Young, black and unemployed: the tragedy of the 44%
Diane Abbott
The Guardian, 6 March 2012

It is a paradox of the history of British migration that, while the first generation of postwar black immigrants came to this country to work, unemployment among their children and grandchildren is stubbornly high. Figures I've just received from the Labour Force Survey reveal that unemployment among young black people (aged 16-24) is a shocking 44% – over twice the rate of their white counterparts, of whom 20% are jobless.

Black and Asian migrants after the war helped rebuild the economy: working in factories; doing the night shifts; working on the railways and driving the buses. And a generation of West Indian women made a contribution to the health service that has never been properly celebrated. So whatever else the problem is, black Britons don't come from households that didn't value work.

One of the causes of high black unemployment is shared by working class males whatever their colour. Structural changes in the economy mean that the type of blue-collar jobs that the first generation of migrants did no longer exists. When I was a child, areas like Willesden and Park Royal in north-west London were full of manufacturing and light-engineering factories. The large black community there owes its existence partly to just those employment opportunities. But these jobs have largely vanished from London.

... Now there are no job opportunities for young people without formal qualifications. A generation ago it was still possible to leave school at 16 and become a bank clerk, a nurse, a local government officer. Now many employers recruiting for similar roles demand a degree. There is no question that a lack of qualifications holds some young black people back. But there is anecdotal evidence that black people emerging from university with the same qualifications as their white peers find it much more difficult to get employment. Lack of qualifications alone does not account for this level of unemployment.
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Employment – European Union
Secret EU deal forces Britain to take in 12,000 Indian workers despite soaring unemployment
James Slack
Daily Mail, 2 March 2012

Brussels has drawn up a secret diktat which could force Britain to admit 12,000 workers from India despite soaring unemployment at home.

The order is part of an EU-wide plan to boost trade with India.

EU officials say that, in return for opening up the jobs market, countries such as Britain will be helped to land lucrative export deals.

But, of 40,000 workers who will be allowed to live and work in Europe, Britain has been told it must take 12,000, according to leaked EU documents.

This is far more than any other EU nation - and three times the number which will be permitted France.

Even Germany, which has one of the world's largest economies, will admit only 8,000 workers.

The Indian migrants, who can live and work in Britain for six months, will be in addition to people given visas under Britain's supposedly strict immigration cap.

This is despite the EU not normally being allowed to meddle in Britain's border controls. It comes at a time when UK unemployment is close to a 17-year high, at 2.67 million.

The negotiations on the India deal - which have been led by Vince Cable's Business Department - have been going on in the shadows for years.

A large number of the beneficiaries will be IT workers, who already arrive in large numbers from India. ...

Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migration Watch, said: 'The (negotiations) are quite clearly against the interests of British workers at a time of very high unemployment.

'That, presumably, is why the government has been keeping quiet about them.

'The six month limit, although completely unenforceable, keeps them out of the official immigration figures. However, in practice, this agreement, if signed, would open the door for thousands of new migrants.

'Of particular concern is our IT workforce - already being undercut by Indian IT companies - which will be put under further pressure.'

The details emerged in a leaked copy of the EU/India Free Trade Agreement, which is due to be signed later this year. It was first initiated by Former Trade Commissioner Lord Mandelson in 2007. ...

Critics points out that, although the proposed stay in the UK is limited to six months, there are currently no checks on departure nor obligations on employers to ensure that migrants return home.

A six month period means no tax or National Insurance will be paid in the UK.
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British companies bypass immigration cap on skilled migrants
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 28 February 2012

British companies are bypassing the government's cap on skilled migrants by bringing in staff from their plants and offices overseas, an official report has found.

Figures from the Home Office's migration advisory committee show that the numbers coming to Britain under the "intra-company transfer" scheme have surged in the past two years and now outnumber those coming into Britain on work visas by three to one. The rise has rendered the cap on skilled overseas migrants redundant, with fewer than half the work visas available under the annual limit being used.

The latest figures show that transfers of company staff, especially from IT firms in India, have risen from 22,000 in 2009 to 29,700 in the 12 months to September last year. David Cameron exempted these staff transfers from the immigration cap after strong lobbying by the business secretary, Vince Cable, and representations from the Indian government.

An official estimate shows that as few as 10,000 tier-2 work visas will be issued to skilled workers in the 12 months to April 2012. This is less than half the limit of 21,700 skilled work visas set by the home secretary, Theresa May, in the drive to reduce net annual migration from 250,000 to "tens of thousands" by the next election.

The committee said in a report published on Tuesday that in this situation it was not necessary to change the 21,700 limit on work visas that applies to skilled migrants from outside the European Economic Area for the next financial year.

The government's migration advisers say they do not think changes should be made to curb intra-company transfers but the route should be kept under review, especially where transfers involve third-party contractors.

The committee chair, Professor David Metcalf, said that although the limit was undersubscribed it should not be lowered because that would affect the perception that Britain was an attractive place to do business.

"The tier-2 limit system is set up to prevent the displacement of UK workers but intra-company transfers are not part of that limit and account for the lion's share of visas," he said.

"The government has put a cap in but it is not biting, so pro tem it is not relevant," said Metcalf.

The intra-company transfer route allows companies to bring in staff from overseas branches to work for up to six months if they are in jobs earning more than £24,000 a year. Those earning more than £40,000 can stay longer than a year.
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Employment – European Union
Europe needs more migration to boost growth, says David Cameron and allies
Rowena Mason
Daily Telegraph, 21 February 2012

Workers should be able to get jobs abroad within Europe more easily as migration will help the economy, David Cameron has claimed.

In a joint letter with 11 other conservative leaders, the Prime Minister urges greater "labour mobility" within the European Union to help people move abroad to places with the best job opportunities.

Mr Cameron has claimed that mass immigration in Britain has led to "discomfort" and promised voters that he will bring immigration down to the "tens of thousands".

Hundreds of thousands of migrant workers from Eastern Europe have settled in Britain since countries such as Poland joined the European Union.

However, Mr Cameron is now leading a coalition of countries claiming that Europe should have a "more integrated open labour market".

The European leaders, including the prime ministers of Italy, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Latvia, want migrants to settle where there are jobs amid high unemployment rates across the continent.

In the letter to José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, the leaders suggest pensions law is currently a barrier to people who want to accept jobs in another EU country. ...

The group of 12 leaders came together to submit proposals for increasing economic growth in Europe after a meeting between Mr Cameron and Mario Monti, the Prime Minister of Italy.

Neither the French nor German leaders have signed the letter in a sign that a bloc of countries with right-leaning governments and less enthusiasm for European integration may be emerging.
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Put British workers to top of recruitment list says Chris Grayling
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 20 February 2012

Employers should give young British jobseekers priority over applicants from abroad, the employment minister has said.

Chris Grayling said UK companies should put British nationals "at the top of their priority list" to help reduce the number of jobs going to people from Eastern Europe. ...

There are around 2.67 million unemployed people in the UK, more than 1 million of them aged less than 25.

Even as overall unemployment has risen, the number of foreign nationals with jobs in the UK has risen. Official figures for the last quarter of 2011 show that the number of non-UK nationals in employment was 2.58 million, up 166,000 from a year earlier. ...

"It is my hope that every employer in the UK, in deciding if they are going to recruit in the next few months, will put young UK unemployed people at the top of their priority list," he told Sky News' Murnaghan programme.

Under employment laws based on the EU's single market, it is illegal for British employers to discriminate against non-British applicants from elsewhere in the EU.

Put to him that prioritising British candidates could fall foul of those rules, Mr Grayling stood by his remarks.

He said: "I just simply hope that the choices that employers make in this country will be to give young unemployed British people a chance, so it would be bizarre if I didn't say that and we'll do everything we can to encourage them to do so."
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Employment – unemployment
580 foreigners a DAY got a job here last year... as the number of British-born unemployed soared
Chris Parsons and Becky Barrow
Daily Mail, 16 February 2012

Around 580 foreigners landed a job in the UK every day last year while the number of British-born workers collapsed, official figures revealed today.

The Office for National Statistics said the number of British-born workers with a job crashed by 208,000 last year.

But this is the exact opposite of what is happening to foreign-born workers, with numbers jumping by 212,000 last year.

Figures also revealed that women bore the brunt of the latest rise in unemployment, as figures showed today the number of female jobseekers has leapt to its highest rate in 23 years.

Two thirds of the 48,000 extra unemployed in the last quarter were women, as Britain's jobless rate rose for the eighth month in a row.

More than a million women are now unemployed in this country, the highest number in nearly a quarter of a century and a rise of 91,000 over last year, according to the think tank IPPR.

Young workers have also been hit hard by unemployment, with over million aged 16-24 now jobless, and nearly 250,000 unemployed for more than a year.

The total number of those out of work in the last quarter of 2011 leapt to 2.67 million, a jobless rate of 8.4 per cent, the worst figure since the end of 1995. ...

Reacting to the figures, Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the think-tank, Migrationwatch, described the extraordinary increase in foreign-born workers as 'quite extraordinary'.

He said: 'Given the continued increase in the number of British workers who are unemployed, it seems quite extraordinary that some employers are still employing agencies to recruit workers from overseas.'
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We need some tough love to get people off welfare and into Pret
Fraser Nelson
Daily Telegraph, 13 January 2012

Ministers should face down the Lords over benefit curbs – the workers are on their side.

Just outside the House of Commons lies a sandwich shop which exhibits the most intractable problem in politics. ... But as customers of its London shops know, Pret has another characteristic: its ever-cheerful staff are almost exclusively immigrants. In a city with 770,000 on benefits, this is a sign that something in the economy is deeply broken.

One can hardly blame Pret. What happens in its sandwich shops is being repeated all over a country where the government pays several million natives not to work. ... ...

... The real problem with youth unemployment over the years is not that predatory Poles stole jobs from young Brits. The real scandal is that mass immigration allowed Labour ministers to ignore welfare reform and grow the economy with these imported workers – while keeping at least 4.5 million people on dole of various kinds.

... The industrious immigrants are still coming. ... Nine tenths of the rise in employment since the election can be accounted for by foreign-born workers (whose number is rising by 450 a day).
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Employment – doctors, medical care
Poor foreign doctors put patients at risk in NHS
Robert Winnett
Daily Telegraph, 12 January 2012

Patients are being put at risk by European laws that allow potentially incompetent foreign doctors to work in the NHS while undermining training in Britain, some of the country's most senior doctors warn. ...

They warn that there are "huge variations" in the ability and training of doctors from abroad and that those with poor language skills are still able to work in the NHS.

Health regulators are not automatically alerted when a doctor is struck off in another country, they say. ...

Prof Norman Williams, the president of the Royal College of Surgeons, and Sir Richard Thompson, the president of the Royal College of Physicians, write: "The language competency of doctors from the EU working in Britain, and the stifling effect of the European Working Time Directive on the time that trainee doctors have to learn on the job need urgent action.

"EU laws that apply to all sectors can have unintended consequences in health care that can put patients at risk, whether in Britain or other member states." ...

More than 88,000 foreign-trained doctors are registered to work in Britain, including 22,758 from Europe. They account for almost a third of the total.
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Employment – costs
Immigration does keep Britons out of jobs, government committee admits
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 11 January 2012

Immigration meant 160,000 British workers missed out on jobs in the last five years, the Government's migration expert revealed.

A Briton is "displaced" from the labour market for every four extra migrants from outside the EU that arrive in the UK, the Migration Advisory Committee (Mac) concluded.

The report is the first official examination of the impact of immigration and showed it has kept resident workers out of jobs.

Professor David Metcalf, chairman of the Mac, also criticised the use of GDP for measuring the effects of the influx of foreign nationals as "pro-immigration" because more migrants will logically expand the economy.

The findings are in contrast to a study by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (Niesr) which claimed the number of immigrants coming to the UK had little or no impact on the number of unemployed.

However, the impact and displacement of British workers also does not last forever, the Mac report found.

"Those migrants who have been in the UK for over five years are not associated with displacement of British-born workers," it said.

In the last five years the number of non-EU migrants of working age increased by 700,000 meaning some 160,000 Britons missed out on jobs, the report concluded. ...

The Mac was asked to look at the impact of immigration from outside the EU and how that information was used in official impact assessments of the Government's migration policies.

Prof Metcalf said the current system, which uses GDP to look at the impact on both UK residents and migrants, "can't be the right way of thinking about this".

It would be better to consider the impact on the economic wellbeing of the resident population alone, he said.

Any assessment of the economic and social impacts of immigration – and of specific immigration policies – critically depends on whose interests are taken into consideration, the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford said.

Dr Scott Blinder, a senior researcher at the centre, said: "This report highlights the need to decide and articulate more clearly whose needs Government is prioritising when developing immigration policy.

"Trade-offs need to be confronted head on. Without more debate and clarity about whose interests policy is trying to maximise, we cannot hope to reach more agreement about the costs and benefits of specific policies."
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Non-EU immigration linked to unemployment, says report
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 10 January 2012

Immigration to Britain from outside Europe is linked to unemployment in depressed economic times, according to an explosive report from the government's own expert advisers.

The migration advisory committee research published on Tuesday suggests that for every extra 100 non-European migrants who come to Britain, 23 fewer British residents are employed.

The finding directly challenges the established academic consensus that there has been little or no direct link between immigration and employment levels in Britain. It flatly contradicts research from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research published on Monday, which found that even in the recent recession there was no direct impact.

The official research confirms that migration has had no impact on average wages but says that it has increased wages at the top of the wage scale but has lowered wage rates at the bottom. ...

The report from the Home Office-appointed migration advisory committee, however, makes clear that there has been no increase in violent crime levels as a result of recent migration, and the influx of foreign skilled workers may actually have contributed to falling crime levels as they are less likely to commit burglary and other property crime.

In terms of housing, the report estimates that skilled migration from outside Europe will generate demand for an extra 112,000 homes by 2017 – only about 8% of the additional demand for housing within the next five years with – with the effects concentrated in London and other limited parts of Britain.

The report also says recent official assessments of immigration policy that have calculated the cost to the economy of measures such as curbing overseas students should instead measure their impact on the "economic wellbeing" of the resident population rather than their impact on the gross domestic product.
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Migrants do not affect jobless levels, say researchers
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 10 January 2012

Immigration to Britain has had little or no impact on the overall levels of unemployment, even during the recent recession, according to research published on Tuesday. A report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research comes in advance of the results of an official inquiry by the government's migration advisory committee on the impact of migration from outside Europe on the economy and public services in Britain.

The NIESR report, which uses national insurance registrations by foreign nationals for the first time to analyse the impact of immigration on the UK labour market, says it found no link between migrant inflows and the overall level of those claiming jobseeker's allowance.

"In addition, we tested for whether the impact of migration on claimant unemployment varies according to the state of the economic cycle. We found no evidence of a greater negative impact during periods of low growth or the recent recession."

The findings confirm existing research which has generally found little or no impact on average of immigration on unemployment in Britain, with at most "a generally modest impact on the less skilled". The NIESR report concedes that it is not known whether a fall in the number of low-skilled jobs in Britain is being masked by a balancing increase in the number of more highly skilled jobs.
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A coincidence? Youth unemployment rises 450,000 in the time it takes 600,000 migrant workers to flock to the UK
Leon Watson
Daily Mail, 9 January 2012

Migrant workers from the EU are keeping young Britons out of jobs, new figures suggest.

Campaign group Migration Watch UK said statistics released today show the number of migrants working in the UK who were born in Eastern Europe rose by 600,000 since the so-called A8 countries joined the EU in May 2004 while youth unemployment rose by almost 450,000 in the same period.

Sir Andrew Green, the campaign group's chairman, said it would be 'a very remarkable coincidence if there was no link at all between them'.

Migrants from the A8 countries - Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - 'have tended to be disproportionately young, well-educated, prepared to work for low wages and imbued with a strong work ethic', he said.

Youth unemployment in the UK increased from 575,000 in the first quarter of 2004 to 1,016,000 in the third quarter of 2011, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

Over the same period, the number of workers from the A8 grew by 600,000.

Sir Andrew conceded that measuring any impact of immigration on youth unemployment was 'not an exact science'.

He said: 'Correlation is not, of course, proof of causation but, given the positive employability characteristics and relative youth of migrants from these countries, it is implausible and counter-intuitive to conclude - as the previous Government and some economists have done - that A8 migration has had virtually no impact on UK youth unemployment in this period.

'We hear a great deal from employers about the value of immigrant labour, especially from Eastern Europe, but there are also costs some of which have undoubtedly fallen on young British born workers.'
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Cutting immigration won't help youth unemployment
Sam Bowman, Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute
The Spectator, 9 January 2012

Reading the papers today, you could be forgiven for thinking that MigrationWatch's new report was a smoking gun against immigration. Here we have a study that links immigration to unemployment, in the face of nearly all previous research that has found no such link. However, looking at the MigrationWatch piece itself, it quickly becomes clear how implausible these claims are.

The MigrationWatch report centres on a comparison of rising youth unemployment and rising immigration from the 'A8' countries – the Eastern European states that joined the EU in 2004. The correlation between the two is remarkably weak. During the initial rise in immigration between 2004 and the end of 2008, there is no significant rise in unemployment at all. From 2009, there is no close correlation between the two figures either; both immigration and unemployment have been rising since then, but the rise in immigration has followed the rise in unemployment.

In fact, there is no evidence to suggest a causal link between migration and youth unemployment, nor is there any reason to think that there would be one. ...

The economy is not a simple set of simultaneous equations: curbing the number of motivated migrant workers who ask for low pay would not magically make British youngsters suitable for their jobs. It would probably make most of those jobs untenable. Indeed, if there is a problem with migration it is when immigrants do not work and abuse the benefits system, not when they do work and add value to the economy.

There is no fixed pie of jobs. Immigrants don't create unemployment any more than women entering the workforce in the 1950s and '60s did. Protectionism of labour is as misguided as protectionism of capital and goods, and won't do much to relieve unemployment (though it will hurt businesses).
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Environment – housing
David Davies MP: 'Immigration fuelling housing demand'
BBC, 4 January 2012

An MP has said environmental groups should speak out about the impact of immigration on Wales.

Monmouth MP David Davies said immigration would fuel demand for new homes, including in his largely rural constituency.

He said there was a danger that immigration became an issue only extremists spoke about. ...

Mr Davies has written to Greenpeace, the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales and Friends of the Earth.

He said such groups should join a coalition of moderate politicians who "completely abhor xenophobia and racism, but wish to voice their concerns about the effect of population growth on the environment". ...

"At the same time we cannot escape the fact that continued large scale immigration is fuelling the demand for house building, including in areas like Monmouthshire, even though the number of recent UK arrivals living here is small," he said.

"The reason is due to the 'ripple' effect. Most new arrivals go to London and other major cities.

"This creates demand which pushes longer standing residents into outer areas, which in turn displaces others over a period of time."
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Extremism – schools
Faith schools could be radicalising students
Duncan Gardham and Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 31 December 2012

More than 100 independent faith schools may be radicalising students, the Department for Education has warned in a secret memo which admits that officials are struggling to tackle extremism in state and private schools.

Behind closed doors there are concerns about 118 "socially conservative" independent faith schools – the vast majority of them Muslim – where pupils may be encouraged to cut themselves off from mainstream society. ...

The government's counter-radicalisation strategy, called "Prevent", warned last year that some people who were supportive of terrorist groups and ideologies had "sought and sometimes gained positions in schools".
[Newspaper link]


Extremism – Islam
An insider's exposé of Islamist extremism
Charles Moore
Daily Telegraph, 30 July 2012
[Charles Moore reviews Radical by Maajid Nawaz (W H Allen)]

To the white majority, who even now think of this country as a placid place, it will seem extraordinary that the author of this dramatic memoir was born in Southend. Maajid Nawaz is still only in his mid-thirties. He was brought up in a prosperous, middle-class, anglophile household of Pakistani origin. ...

Nawaz was a leading firebrand in Hizb al-Tahrir (HT), the militant organisation that wishes to overthrow all infidel regimes and establish a new Muslim Caliphate. Although it is not itself a terror organisation, its ideology legitimises violence. ... ...

So Brother Maajid broke away from HT, even as he was being offered its British leadership, and even though the break brought his marriage to an end. ... He set up Quilliam, the first Muslim organisation dedicated to confronting the extremists. ...

It is a horrifying reflection on modern Britain that a young man of Nawaz's talents and background should have had such a lurid life-history. It is clear from his story that this was not the result of bad parents or any personality disorder: thousands of able young Muslims were part of this fanaticism. (Many still are.) It is also clear that, at almost every turn, those in authority in white Britain were grotesquely ignorant, overindulgent or just plain scared about what organisations like HT were up to. The liberal Left were particularly credulous: "How we Islamists laughed at their naivety."

In college, HT could easily turn the Islamic Society into its front organisation, and students had no trouble carrying knives at all times. "Hate speech" which, Nawaz writes, would have been jumped on if it had come from the BNP, was indulged because it came from people with brown skin. In Pakistan, teaching English via the British Council was a recognised means of livelihood for HT agitators. Our host culture was so abject that it effectively incited attacks upon itself.
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Extremism – free speech
Abuse online may repel us, but it shouldn't be a crime
David Edgar
The Guardian, 25 July 2012

How does a self-confessed free speech fundamentalist respond to recent pieces by Mehdi Hasan, Inayat Bunglawala, Huma Qureshi and others about the abusive and intimidatory rhetoric to which Muslim writers are subject online? In a universe of instant-access social media, in which anonymous, direct abuse no longer relies on the abuser having access to an address or a phone number, is the sacred and inalienable right to insult and offend still good enough? For me the answer is still "yes", with an increasingly large "but".

First of all, there are two obvious reasons – well, excuses – for commentary on this topic being particularly virulent. One is that infringements of free speech (The Satanic Verses, the Danish cartoons) are high on the charge list against Islam. The other is that anti-Muslims (including but not restricted to the far right) can therefore defend Islamaphobic rhetoric on the grounds that they are exercising and defending an ancient British liberty.

Well, it isn't that ancient a liberty: blasphemy was a criminal offence well into this century. But the character of censorship has changed. Although the state still criminalises certain speech-acts (largely those which incite others to violence), the free speech debate has shifted from resistance to state power to protests against material that causes groups distress or offence, a form – if you like – of consumer protection. ...

Gary Younge is right to attack abusers who pay less attention to what they do than their entitlement to do it; having a right doesn't make it right to exercise it. But being abusive shouldn't be a crime, which is why I support Peter Tatchell in his campaign against the provisions of the 1986 Public Order Act which make the use of "insulting words and behaviour" a criminal offence. I also backed the successful addition of a clause protecting criticism, abuse, insult and ridicule to the 2006 Racial and Religious Hatred Act.
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Extremism – Islam, politics
Ken Livingstone: I will make London a beacon of Islam
Andrew Gilligan
Telegraph blog, 19 March 2012

Ken Livingstone has promised to turn London into a "beacon" for the words of the Prophet Mohammed in a sermon at one of the capital's most controversial mosques.

Mr Livingstone, Labour's candidate for mayor of London, pledged to "educate the mass of Londoners" in Islam, saying: "That will help to cement our city as a beacon that demonstrates the meaning of the words of the Prophet." Mr Livingstone described Mohammed's words in his last sermon as "an agenda for all humanity." ...

Mr Livingstone was speaking at last Friday's Jummah prayer at the North London Central Mosque, also known as Finsbury Park Mosque, formerly controlled by the terrorist recruiter Abu Hamza.

Hamza was removed in 2003 but the mosque is now controlled by an Islamist organisation, the Muslim Association of Britain, which has been linked to the banned terror group, Hamas. A man who has acted as spokesman for the current leadership, Azzam Tamimi, is on record as supporting suicide bombings. One of the mosque's current directors, Mohammed Sawalha, is described by the BBC as a former senior figure in Hamas who "is said to have masterminded much of Hamas's political and military strategy" from his post in London. ...

Mr Livingstone has been dogged by allegations of links to Islamic fundamentalism. In 2010, in the London borough of Tower Hamlets, he campaigned against his own party's candidate to back a controversial independent politician, Lutfur Rahman, sacked by Labour for his links to a Muslim extremist group, the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE).

During his mayoralty, Mr Livingstone's London Development Agency channelled hundreds of thousands of pounds to the East London Mosque in Tower Hamlets, controlled by the IFE, even though senior LDA managers strongly opposed the grant. In return, IFE activists campaigned strongly for him at the 2008 mayoral elections, boasting that they "got out the vote" for Mr Livingstone and achieving dramatic swings to him in their east London heartland.

Mr Livingstone also gave thousands of pounds of public money to the Muslim Welfare House, a charity closely associated with the Finsbury Park Mosque, which signed an open letter backing his re-election campaign in 2008.
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Extremism – Islam
How taxpayers are still funding the extremists
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 4 March 2012

Millions of pounds of taxpayers' money is still being paid to groups linked to Islamist extremism, more than a year after David Cameron vowed to outlaw the practice.

People associated with one "extremist" group whose grant was terminated after the Prime Minister's pledge are now being used to induct new staff into the Government's own Office of Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT), the Home Office division responsible for directing Britain's anti-terror efforts. Only last week the same individuals were awarded thousands of pounds of fresh public funding.

Meanwhile, the Civil Service has solicited "fast-stream" recruits for the top ranks in Whitehall from a group which has hosted numerous extremists and terrorist supporters, including the al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was linked to a number of international plots before his death last year.

Another body linked to the extremist sect Hizb ut-Tahrir, the public funding of which Mr Cameron condemned as long ago as 2009, is still receiving hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money, to educate primary-age children in Hizb ut-Tahrir ideology. ...

However, Mr Haqq Baker appears to have bounced back, founding a new group, West London IMPACT, with the same aims as STREET but based in Hounslow.

Last week, the local council awarded it £10,000 for "counter-extremism" work. Council papers say that it has been given thousands more by the OSCT.

Documents seen by The Sunday Telegraph also show that IMPACT is used to help induct new staff into the OSCT. Along with sessions at MI6, GCHQ, the Cabinet Office and Scotland Yard, the training programme includes a session with the group. ...

Another group, the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS), has been used by the Civil Service to recruit new "fast-stream" trainees for its top ranks.

FOSIS has hosted numerous extremist and terrorist speakers at its annual conference and other events, including Azzam Tamimi, who supports suicide bombing, Haitham al-Haddad, who believes that music is a "prohibited and fake message of love and peace", and Anwar al-Awlaki.

Several convicted terrorists have been officers of university Islamic societies affiliated to FOSIS and have attended its events. FOSIS has been condemned by Theresa May, the Home Secretary, and Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, for its failure to "fully challenge terrorist and extremist ideology". ...

Despite Mr Cameron's pledge to stop bankrolling undesirable organisations, accounts published in recent weeks reveal that many bodies closely linked to extremism continued to enjoy substantial public funding in 2011. Beneficiaries include the East London Mosque, paid at least £256,000 last year alone and the Osmani Trust, which received almost £600,000.

Both organisations are controlled by the Islamic Forum of Europe, which works to change the "very infrastructure of society, its institutions, its culture, its political order and its creed ... from ignorance to Islam" in a "global" Islamic state under Sharia law.

The mosque has hosted numerous hate and terrorist preachers, including al-Awlaki.
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Extremism – Islam, USA
Report: Internet radicalizes U.S. Muslims quickly
Shaun Waterman
The Washington Times, 27 February 2012

Young American Muslims can become radicalized online very quickly and with few warning signs, becoming potential terrorists before federal agencies can identify them, a new congressional report warned Monday. ...

The report concluded that the federal government lacks a coordinated strategy to combat online radicalization, although it called a new State Department initiative aimed at countering terrorist chat on social media sites "encouraging but nascent."

"The United States currently has a haphazard approach to dealing with global Internet radicalization and propaganda," the report said.
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Fraud and corruption – student visas
Third of foreign student visas 'lack credibility', survey finds
Thomas Harding
Daily Telegraph, 16 July 2012

A third of visas handed to overseas students should never have been issued with up to 70,000 foreign undergraduates applications "lacking credibility", a government survey has found.

An intention to remain in Britain, failure to speak any English and no desire to complete their degree were given as the top three reasons given to Home Office investigators.

Three out of five visas given to students from India and Nigeria were found to "lack credibility", the study found.

The survey is part of a crackdown on student visas that have for many years been abused with paperwork being the sole criteria for applications rather than face-to-face interviews.

Despite having certificates showing that they are qualified English speakers, hundreds of students could not answer the most basic questions in interviews without an interpreter.

A sixth of those applying as university undergraduates and two-thirds of those at private colleges were considered to have suspicious applications, the Home Office interviewers concluded in a move to crack down on bogus student visas.

It comes after Damian Green, the immigration minister, announced that the UK Border Agency would interview up to 14,000 students to weed out those who were in Britain on false claims.

With almost half (48 per cent) of all Pakistan applicants considered to be falsified all applicants from the country will now be individually interviewed as part of an immigration crackdown.

The Home Office study, carried out in the three months to February this year, interviewed almost 2,000 students granted visas under the current rules. It found that hundreds of bogus applications were also being made from the Philippines (53 per cent), China, (32) and Kenya (16 per cent) but none from America or Canada.

In the last year 206,000 student visas were granted although the Home Office said that the sample found in its survey would not necessarily be reflected on a wider basis.
[Site link]


Fraud and corruption – education
Staff at a college ranked as "highly trusted" by the UK Border Agency are helping foreign students cheat the immigration system
Jason Farrell
Sky News, 29 March 2012

The investigation discovered that diploma certificates and dissertations were for sale inside the London College of Business in Barking.

As "highly trusted" by the UK Border Agency, the college can sponsor visa applications for foreign students and help them towards post-study work visas if they get their applications in by April 6.

But we found foreign students desperate to obtain visas can buy themselves the necessary qualifications without attending any classes.

It should take nine months to get a postgraduate diploma from the college but its marketing consultant has been secretly filmed by Sky News telling students they can have one in a week if they pay £1,000.

Dr Javed Akhtar told one student who had not been on the course: "Don't worry - It could be done in a week. The first thing is registration. Then comes your PGD.

"When you get your PGD you'll be registered with the university in a day. The only thing you need to do is submit your dissertation."

Master's degree dissertations are also for sale. A student working for us was told by Dr Javed if he wanted the qualifications quickly he could pay someone at the college £500 to provide his coursework. That dissertation is then sent to be externally marked at the University of Wales. ...

Sky News also discovered that a member of the public tried to report the London College of Business to the UK Border Agency several weeks ago but struggled to find anyone willing to listen.

Former college lecturer Mike told us: "Having run a college myself I had an email and a phone number. I sent an email but got no reply. I left messages, no one got back to me.

"Eventually (after two weeks trying), I got through to the head of crime prevention, or fraud prevention for the area where this college is.

"He took down the name of the college but, as soon as we gave him the name of the college, he didn't want to know any details about what the college was up to or anything like that. He just said, 'Thank you.' That was the end of the conversation. He hung up."
[Site link]


Fraud and corruption – education, racism, USA
Obama team protects black thugs
Thomas Sowell
World Net Daily, 12 March 2012

There have been many frauds of historic proportions ...

But the biggest hoax of the past two generations is still going strong – namely, the hoax that statistical differences in outcomes for different groups are due to the way other people treat those groups.

The latest example of this hoax is the joint crusade of the Department of Education and the Department of Justice against schools that discipline black males more often than other students. According to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, this disparity in punishment violates the "promise" of "equity."

Just who made this promise remains unclear, and why equity should mean equal outcomes despite differences in behavior is even more unclear. This crusade by Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is only the latest in a long line of fraudulent arguments based on statistics.

If black males get punished more often than Asian-American females, does that mean that it is somebody else's fault? That it is impossible that black males are behaving differently from Asian-American females? Nobody in his right mind believes that. But that is the unspoken premise, without which the punishment statistics prove nothing about "equity."

What is the purpose or effect of this whole exercise by the Department of Education and the Department of Justice? To help black students or to secure the black vote in an election year by seeming to be coming to the rescue of blacks from white oppression?

Among the many serious problems of ghetto schools is the legal difficulty of getting rid of disruptive hoodlums, a mere handful of whom can be enough to destroy the education of a far larger number of other black students – and with it destroy their chances for a better life.

Judges have already imposed too many legalistic procedures on schools that are more appropriate for a courtroom. "Due process" rules that are essential for courts can readily become "undue process" in a school setting, when letting clowns and thugs run amok, while legalistic procedures to suspend or expel them drag on. It is a formula for educational and social disaster.

Now Secretary Duncan and Attorney General Holder want to play the race card in an election year, at the expense of the education of black students. Make no mistake about it; the black students who go to school to get an education are the main victims of the classroom disrupters whom Duncan and Holder are trying to protect.

What they are more fundamentally trying to protect are the black votes that are essential for Democrats. For that, blacks must be constantly depicted as under siege from whites, so that Democrats can be seen as their rescuers.

Promoting paranoia translates into votes. It is a very cynical political game, despite all the lofty rhetoric used to disguise it.

Whether the current generation of black students get a decent education is infinitely more important than whether the current generation of Democratic politicians hang on to their jobs.

Too many of the intelligentsia – both black and white – jump on the statistical bandwagon, and see statistical differences as proof of maltreatment, not only in schools but in jobs, in mortgage lending and in many other things.
[Site link]



Illegal immigration – education
Up to 90,000 students 'in Britain illegally': Thousands fail to attend courses and some don't even register
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 19 December 2012

Ministers have been notified of up to 90,000 foreign students who may be living in Britain illegally.

Audits by universities and colleges have thrown up tens of thousands of students who may have broken the rules by failing to attend their courses or even register. ...

UK Border Agency chief executive Rob Whiteman told the Home Affairs committee it had received 90,000 notifications since the Summer.

He said: 'We are now working through them. We have a new team in the new year in the Liverpool area which includes some DVLA staff transferring over and those 90,000 notifications we have received will be processed by the end of March in terms of triaging them, making a decision on whether there's important information in them.

'Because the student notifications are greater than we expected - the London Met position led to a great many notifications coming through - we have created an additional team.'

Immigration Minister Mark Harper told the Committee that revoking London Met's highly-trusted status had served as 'a lesson' to colleges and universities over 'what would happen if they didn't meet their sponsorship requirements'.

'I think perhaps if they weren't taking that seriously I think they will do now,' he said.

Mr Whiteman also admitted that the Agency had found a backlog of 50,000 applications from immigrants which have not been entered into the UKBA database.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – number
Scandal of UK's 863,000 illegal in four of the EU's total
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 18 December 2012

Britain's illegal immigrant population is the highest in Europe, official figures have revealed.

The country could be home to almost 900,000 "irregular migrants", expert studies show.

The alarming figure is 400,000 more than second-place Italy and means the UK houses nearly one in four of the EU's unauthorised population.

Critics last night said it was further evidence that the Government needs to regain control of its borders.

The stark statistics are contained in a European Commission research project which tried to quantify the number of illegal immigrants in each EU country in 2008.

The figures are highlighted within a controversial House of Lords report published today which, despite the figures, calls on the Government to "engage" more closely with the EU's passport-free Schengen Area.

The House of Lords EU committee said it "regrets" the Government's "negative attitude to such cooperation and hope they will reconsider".

But critics fear that removing passport requirements for travellers heading for the UK from Europe would aid more illegal immigration.

Talking about the EC research project figures, Labour MP Frank Field – the co-chairman of cross-party group Balanced Migration – said: "If this estimate comes from the European Commission which advocates migration, just think what the true level must be.

"The Home Office needs to strengthen its team throwing out people who shouldn't be here."

Euro MP, Gerard Batten of Ukip said: "This is an astonishing number and if that was the scale of the problem in 2008 what on earth will it be like now?

"My everyday experience as an London MEP shows that this is probably a gross underestimate. We need to take back control of our borders from Europe and bring in the kind of measures that will cut the size of the problem."
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – amnesty
Immigration backlog is the size of Iceland
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 9 November 2012

The immigration system is "spiralling out of control" as officials run up a backlog of more than 300,000 cases, MPs have warned.

The Commons home affairs select committee said the growing number of immigration cases – which includes almost 174,000 missing illegal immigrants – is equivalent of the population of Iceland.

Mismanagement by the UK Border Agency could lead to tens of thousands more illegal immigrants being granted an "effective amnesty" as officials write off their cases, the MPs said.

The number of unresolved immigration cases rose by 25,000 between April and June this year. The UK Border Agency had 302,064 cases to investigate, trace or conclude, the MPs found.

Most of the increase was in illegal immigrants who have not been removed from the UK and have gone missing.

The agency's "migration refusal pool", which lists people refused permission to remain in the UK but who have not been traced, rose by 24,000. The agency now lists 174,000 people who should not be in the UK but who cannot be located.

The outstanding cases included the 95,000 in the "controlled archives", effectively the backlog of immigration and asylum cases, which the agency promised to close by the end of the year. To do so, it will have to assess all these cases in three months. Over the previous year, officials managed to remove only 29,000 cases from the archive in a year.

The committee warned that a rush to clear the archives could result in many people without permission to be in the UK having their cases closed, effectively allowing them to remain permanently. ...

A UK Border Agency spokesman said there was "no question of an amnesty".
[Site link]


Illegal immigration
UK Border Agency starts tracking tip-offs about illegal immigrants
Martin Beckford
Daily Telegraph, 1 October 2012

Illegal immigrants could be tracked down and deported more easily under a new UK Border Agency scheme to manage tip-offs.

A new National Allegations Database will handle claims centrally and track them from start to finish to ensure potential over-stayers or foreign criminals do not slip through the net.

The system, which came into effect on Sunday, aims to improve border officials' success rate as recent figures suggest just 4 per cent of allegations lead to arrests being made. ...

Border officials also rely on tip-offs from the public to help find illegal immigrants, and recent figures show that some 20,000 allegations are made every three months.

Although almost all are assessed within 48 hours and half are investigated properly by officials, only about 600 lead to arrests.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – students, education
Bogus students have no place coming to Britain
Alasdair Palmer
Sunday Telegraph, 16 September 2012

Taking a course is unquestionably a relatively easy way of getting into the UK – and once here, many stay. No one knows the percentage of people who stay permanently; there are no records that track those who come in and make sure they leave once their course is finished. But the percentage is almost certainly far larger than the 20 per cent or so who apply officially for permission to remain here.

The extent to which education is used as a way to settle in Britain can be seen in Labour's belated attempt to diminish immigration in 2008. When the party tried to institute a system that would make it impossible for unskilled workers to get work permits, there was an immediate surge in the number of non-EU students enrolling in education courses. Many were at privately run institutions that had very little to do with education. They did not require anything from their students in the way of qualifications, or even any ability to speak English. So what happened when the Coalition came to power and the Home Office decided that private colleges of further education would have to be properly accredited to make sure that they did indeed provide their students with an education? One third of the sector simply closed overnight. They didn't think it was worth trying to meet the standards required. That is very powerful evidence that many of those institutions weren't selling education. They were selling a way of migrating into Britain.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – education
The murky world of student visa abuse
Ciaran Jenkins
Channel 4 News, 7 September 2012

Thousands of legitimate students are facing uncertainty, with weeks to find a new university place. But London Metropolitan University isn't the only institution with problems.

The government rarely passes up an opportunity to sound tough on immigration, and the prime minister is no exception. There was "real abuse" at London Metropolitan University, he said, echoing the hard-line stance taken by the UK Border Agency, which had stripped it of its right to sponsor overseas students.

It was an unprecedented move; a humiliation never suffered by a university before. But the UKBA stressed the problems were "with one university, not the whole sector". In other words, the failures at London Met were so appalling and so exceptional as to warrant extreme action.

And yet the shortcomings it lists – failure to monitor student attendance, failure to test English language ability, failure to report disappearing students – are far from unique. In fact, they're something of an open secret in the university sector.

Some courses, particularly masters studies in business, are designed for and populated almost exclusively by international students. They bring in huge sums to university coffers, but standards are often poor.

One lecturer on a popular MBA course told me it was no more advanced than a typical A Level. Students who can barely speak or write English are known to purchase dissertations written especially for them, and examiners can do little about it.

Blowing the whistle is not especially encouraged when so much cash is at stake: international students account for just 10% of the university population but provide 37% of the fees.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – education
There's a lot of it about, warns ex-Home Office director over visa problems
Jack Grove
Times Higher Education, 6 September 2012

Visa compliance problems similar to those discovered at London Metropolitan University can be found at many other UK universities, a former Home Office director has said.

Don Ingham, who spent more than 30 years working in border control, now runs Veristat Immigration Consultancy, which advises educational bodies on student visa issues.

Mr Ingham, a former director of managed migration at the Home Office, said the difficulties that prompted the UK Border Agency to strip London Met of its non-EU student visa licence "were not uncommon ... at other universities", adding: "It is about having processes and procedures that undertake appropriate vetting of students before they arrive in the UK."

Mr Ingham continued: "This has probably not been regarded as a priority by universities - this decision will certainly change that now."

The UKBA said it had revoked London Met's right to teach students from outside the European Union because it had "failed to address serious, systemic problems" identified six months ago.

More than 60 per cent of the 600-plus student files surveyed had one or more problems with them, Damian Green, then immigration minister, told the House of Commons on 3 September.

He said that more than a quarter of the 101 students sampled were studying at the university when they had no leave to remain in this country - making them, in effect, illegal immigrants. ...

Tracking the attendance of around 30,000 students across London Met's campuses and buildings should not be overly difficult, Mr Ingham concluded.

"If you are Ford [in] Dagenham, you will have 30,000 people on site - they will certainly be checking if people turn up or not."
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – bogus students, education
Chaotic visa system allowed 50,000 bogus students in, MPs warn
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 4 September 2012

An extra 50,000 bogus foreign students were able to enter the UK because of "extraordinary chaos" in the UK Border Agency, MPs warned today.

A flawed implementation of the new student visa regime meant tens of thousands of migrants were able to abuse it in the first year alone to work illegally in the UK.

That was the equivalent of one in six of all foreign students who arrived in 2009, when the system was introduced.

And three years later it is still in turmoil with officials playing "catch up", according to the Commons Public Accounts Committee.

The UKBA was also criticised for an "unacceptable" failure to act quickly enough on abuses in the regime or remove bogus students.

The report comes a week after the agency, an arm of the Home Office, stripped a London university of its ability to sponsor foreign students after an investigation found one in four had no right to be here.

The report will renew concerns that the student route is open to exploitation by illegal immigrants as a back door in to the UK.

It attacked the border agency for abandoning existing immigration checks on foreign students before the new monitoring system was fully in place.

As a result, the PAC said that, in 2009, between 40,000 and 50,000 migrants came to the UK as "students" but worked illegally instead.

The figures were based on estimates by the National Audit Office and represented some 16 per cent of the 313,000 foreign students who were granted visas to study in that year. ...

Prior to the new regime it was the responsibility of immigration officers to assess the authenticity of foreign students, including spot checks and interviews if necessary.

That was replaced by the current system where the onus is on sponsoring colleges or universities to demonstrate their students are in the country legitimately.

But the old checks were removed before the new ones were fully bedded in, with some aspects not fully operationally until a year later, the PAC said.

The "controls gap" allowed for a "surge" in student visas and abuse, the report concluded.

The UKBA has also failed to take effective enforcement action against bogus students that it does find, even when suspicions are raised by colleges themselves. ...

In a related move, the committee called on the Government to publish official net immigration figures excluding foreign student numbers.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration
New computer database launched to track down 150,000 illegal immigrants in Britain
Ryan Kisiel
Daily Mail, 22 August 2012

An immigration computer database is being set up to track down the 150,000 people who are staying in Britain illegally, it was revealed yesterday.

Border chiefs are due to launch the project next month to deal with the huge backlog of foreign nationals who have overstayed their student or temporary work visas.

Letters will be sent to those in the 'migration refusal pool' warning that they will be deported and barred from entering the UK if they do not leave within 28 days. ...

Passenger records held in the e-borders database, which covers details of all flights outside Europe to and from Britain, will be checked and there will be careful monitoring of the 100 immigrants whose visas expire daily.

It comes after it was revealed last month that 40 per cent of immigrants who have been refused leave to stay in the country have not been sent the forms demanding they leave.

Tens of thousands of these lapsed visa cases date back more than five years and are a legacy of Labour's catastrophic mismanagement of Britain's immigration system.

Immigration minister Damian Green said he hoped the new scheme would allow Border Agency staff more time to carry out enforcement operations and reduce the backlog.

He said: 'We're concentrating much more on enforcement. From debrief interviews we've found that a third of people decide to overstay at the point their visa expires.

'If we can send these people letters warning of the consequences of illegally overstaying then I'm sure we can reduce the total number deciding to remain.'

The move follows a UKBA summer-long drive to remove visa 'overstayers' that has led to thousands being removed, with 2,000 of those being in London alone.

The majority of those targeted entered the country on student visas which have now expired. Mr Green said they mainly came from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Brazil and Nigeria and were now working illegally. ...

In total, the UKBA faces an enormous backlog of 276,000 immigration cases. The growing total includes asylum seekers, foreign criminals and illegal migrants and is equivalent to the population of Newcastle.

MPs sitting on the Commons Home Affairs Committee said the UK has become a 'Bermuda Triangle' for migrants, a country where it is 'easy to get in, but impossible to keep track of everyone, let alone get them out.'

In addition, around 21,000 new asylum cases have built up because officials were able to process only 63 per cent of last year's applications.

There are also 3,900 foreign criminals living in the community and free to commit more crimes, including more than 800 who have been at large for five years or more.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – bogus students, education
Up to 63,000 bogus students given visas in a year
Martin Beckford
Daily Telegraph, 24 July 2012

As many as 60,000 bogus students could have been allowed to move to Britain in a year, according to analysis of an official report.

Interviews carried out by the Home Office suggested that more than half of applicants from some countries were not genuine.

They either lacked the money or the intention to study in British colleges or universities, or were likely to stay after their courses finished.

Migration Watch UK, a pressure group, estimates that based on these figures, as many as 63,000 bogus students could have been granted visas in 2011.

It is calling on the authorities to make planned interviews with potential foreign students more stringent, by asking them if they intend to leave Britain after graduation.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migration Watch, said: "We now have clear evidence of abuse on a major scale. Bogus students come here to work illegally and thus take jobs from British workers.

"If it is clear from the circumstances that a student is unlikely to go home, the visa should not be granted in the first place. After all, many of the advantages claimed for foreign students depend on their going home after their studies."

It comes amid a growing row over the value or cost of foreign students to the British economy.

After the election ministers promised to cut net migration – the number of new arrivals to the country minus those who leave – to the "tens of thousands" by 2015. ...

However vice-chancellors and business leaders say foreign students are a vital source of income and want the Government to take them out of calculations of immigration.

Sir Andrew said: "It is, in fact, impossible to take students out of net migration because, unlike the US and Australia, we still have no exit checks so nobody knows how many who came as students have actually left the UK."

As part of attempts to weed out bogus students, the Home Office plans to reintroduce interviews to establish applicants' credibility.

A three-month pilot study, published earlier this month, saw 2,316 interviewees asked about their suitability for the proposed course, their ability to support themselves financially and their intention to leave Britain at the end of their studies.

In total up to 44 per cent of applicants could have been refused a visa had they undergone interviews and new credibility tests, with the figure rising to 59 per cent among students from India, Nigeria and Bangladesh, and 62 per cent among Burmese. Although most were applying to study at private colleges, 14 per cent wanted a visa to attend university.

The pressure group said that out of the 141,700 student visas granted in 2011, it could mean that as many as 63,069 went to bogus applicants.

However all of those classified as potentially bogus in the pilot study were actually given visas, as immigration officials did not have the power to refuse them entry on credibility grounds.

Although the Home Office will now question thousands of applicants to check they are genuine, officials will not ask if they plan to return home after studying.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – deportation
UK Border Agency backlog worries MPs
BBC, 23 July 2012

The UK Border Agency faces a backlog of more than 275,000 failed migrants who need to be removed from the country, a group of influential MPs has said.

The home affairs committee said this figure was a size equivalent to the population of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Committee chairman Labour MP Keith Vaz said the agency appeared to have "acquired its own Bermuda Triangle". ...

For the first time in their tri-annual report on the agency, MPs collated all categories of cases not yet resolved.

A Home Office spokesman said the MPs had also highlighted improvements it had made to tackle "the huge backlog of cases we inherited".

"Over 2,000 overstayers have recently been removed following targeted enforcement activity, foreign national offenders are being removed more quickly and we are performing well against visa processing targets," he said. ...

The committee said it would take the UKBA "years" to clear the backlog and it was concerned the agency might not have enough resources to do so.

The committee said the backlog included:

• At least 150,000 migrants who had been refused permission to stay in the UK

• 21,000 asylum cases

• 3,900 foreign offenders living in the community

• 57 foreign criminals released in 2006 without being considered for deportation and who had not yet been traced

• 80,000 asylum applications and 21,500 immigration cases in the "controlled archive" of cases where the UKBA had lost track of the applicant

MPs said the UKBA "does not have a strong record in deporting foreign national offenders".

It recommended that the agency establish a team to examine why foreign criminals in the community had not been sent home and to ensure they were deported.

MPs also criticised the way border officials responded to tip-offs about suspected illegal immigrants. They said although intelligence reports were assessed quickly very few were acted upon.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – France, UK
French government to pass law making it ILLEGAL to arrest UK-bound illegal immigrants in Calais
Ian Sparks
Daily Mail, 19 July 2012

France's new socialist government is to pass a law making it illegal to arrest Britain-bound migrants flooding into Calais.

The proposed legislation comes after the country's highest court ruled illegal immigrants cannot be held in custody for having no identity papers.

It is feared the new rules - due to become law in the autumn - will unleash a fresh tide of migrants on the northern French coast hoping to sneak on lorries and ferries to Britain. ...

Migrants can only be detained for up to six hours while police attempt to establish their identity.

Even if they are found to be in France illegally, the new law will state they cannot held in secure detention centres but must be allowed to walk free.

The law will affect around 1,000 illegal immigrants massed on the northern French coast, and up to 60,000 across the whole of France.

French interior minister Manuel Valls said: 'The decision handed down by the Court of Cassation forbids from now on placing people in custody on the sole motive that they are here illegally.

'The prime minister has asked me to draw up a legal text as soon as possible to give this ruling a legal foundation.'

The law would come before parliament in the autumn, a spokesman for Mr Valls added.

The announcement has been hailed as a 'victory for human rights' by refugee groups in France.

Agathe Marin, spokeswoman for the Cimade refugees' association, said: 'Until now, the police have been arresting and detaining immigrants on a massive scale.

'After they are detained, most of these people are released anyway. We hope that this ruling will ensure that the police are respectful of immigrants' basic rights and stop treating them like criminals.'
[Site link]


Illegal immigration
The return of 'Sangatte': The new mini migrant camp close to Calais is opened with a red ribbon ceremony
Tim Finan
Daily Mail, 17 July 2012

The new socialist government of France has given its blessing to the construction of the first of a cluster of officially approved 'mini Sangattes' close to the port of Calais.

These will house migrants hoping to stow away in cross Channel ferries to Dover and settle down in the UK.

MP for nearby Béthune, Stéphane Saint-André who is a member of the Radical Party of the Left and a member of migration charity group Terre d'Errance, was present at the opening ceremony, cutting a red ribbon to declare the camp open. ...

Since the beginning of July around 50 migrants have been living in the chalets, where they have clean beds, showers, toilets and cooking facilities - just like those in the giant camp at Sangatte, close to Calais.

That camp was demolished on the orders of Nicolas Sarkozy 10 years ago when he was Minister of the Interior.

Sarkozy went further in 2009 after he became President, ordering the razing of 'the Jungle,' a giant squat camp near the ferry terminal where hundreds of Asian migrants were living in makeshift huts. ...

But under new President François Hollande, the prospects for migrants heading through France to the UK are rapidly improving.
[Site link]



Immigration – politics
David Cameron to miss key immigration target, says report
Patrick Hennessy
Sunday Telegraph, 30 December 2012

David Cameron is likely to miss his key pledge of reducing the number of people coming into Britain to fewer than 100,000 a year, according to a new study.

A leading think tank predicts that "net" migration will continue its downward trend in 2013 but will start rising again in the following year.

The report, from the Left-of-centre Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), is a blow for the Prime Minister, who pledged in 2011 to get net migration – the difference between the number of people entering Britain and those leaving – down to the "tens of thousands" before the general election in May 2015.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has introduced new restrictions, including a clampdown on student visas and curbs on the numbers allowed in from outside the European Union to work and to join family members.

The efforts received an apparent boost when figures last month from the Office for National Statistics showed that net migration fell to 183,000 in the 12 months to March 2012, down from 242,000 the previous year.

In the biggest drop for four years, the number of foreign students coming to Britain fell by eight per cent, the number of new foreign workers was down by nine per cent, and the number of migrants from outside the EU fell by seven per cent.

However, the IPPR annual report on migration warns that the downward trend is likely to continue only into next year, with net migration falling to 140,000.

It predicts that the total will then start rising as ministers run out of options to cut numbers further. It forecasts that the Government will miss Mr Cameron's key target, but points out that final totals for the 12 months up to February 2015 will not be available until after the general election.

In 2014, a new wave of Eastern European citizens will gain the right to live and work unrestricted in Britain under the EU's "freedom of movement" rules. Bulgarians and Romanians – with a total population of 29 million – have had restricted rights to come to Britain since they joined the EU in 2007, but those limits end on Dec 31, 2013.

Sarah Mulley, the associate director of the IPPR, said: "Although net migration will fall next year, the Government is fast running out of options for further restricting non-EU immigration in any significant way. ...

The "tens of thousands" pledge is not official government policy because of disagreement between Conservatives and Liberal Democrat ministers.
[Site link]


Immigration – Bulgarians, Romanians, Gipsies
We're on our way to Britain: A year from now up to 29m Bulgarians and Romanians will have the right to settle in Britain and claim benefits. And these gypsies in the slums of Sofia can hardly wait...
Sue Reid
Daily Mail, 24 December 2012

No wonder that in a year's time, when a total of 29 million Bulgarians (and Romanians) gain the right to live, work, and claim state benefits in Britain under EU 'freedom of movement' rules, a great many families from Fakulteta plan to decamp the 1,250 miles to the UK. ...

The latest Census, published this month, reveals how mass immigration has dramatically changed our country. Since EU borders were opened up in 2004, 1,114,368 Eastern Europeans have uprooted to live in England.

Last year, 40,000 Bulgarians and Romanians moved to the UK, joining 130,000 of their countrymen who have settled here during the past decade.

But these numbers are nothing compared with the flood of migrants expected when the rules change in a little over a year's time.

Until now, migrants from the two former communist nations (officially barred from working or claiming benefits in Britain until the freedom of movement rule comes in on January 1, 2014) have neatly exploited a gaping loophole in the EU rules.

It allows Bulgarians and Romanians claiming to be self-employed to get a British national insurance number and a raft of hand-outs, including housing and child benefit.

Many of the new arrivals have worked hard, cornering the market in car-wash companies, for instance.

But others are less industrious, and include Roma gipsies who, remarkably, now sell a third of all copies of the Big Issue.

Even selling one copy a week of the magazine (created to help the British homeless) miraculously gives them self-employed status and allows them to beg with impunity outside shops and on street corners.

Bulgarian and Romanian incomers have been blamed by police in their own countries and in Britain for a massive rise in organised crime, including the trafficking of children to Britain to beg, pickpocket, milk state benefits and even enter the sex trade.

It is estimated that 2,000 children from Romania and Bulgaria are under the control of modern-day Fagins in our major cities.

According to Scotland Yard, a skilful child thief can make up to £100,000 a year 'working' on the streets, buses and Tubes in London – cash that is sent back to Roma villages and towns at home. ...

Meanwhile, Antoaneta Vassileva, head of Bulgaria's National Commission for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, warns that the UK is now the EU hot-spot for Roma child pickpockets from her country – a problem that will almost certainly get worse when the rules change in a year's time. ...

The attitude that Britain is a land where benefits flow like milk and honey is commonplace – even though few of these Roma people speak any English and would struggle to point to Britain on a map.
[Site link]


Immigration – uncounted immigrants, illegal immigration
Anger over the hidden 200,000 migrants who slip into Britain
Macer Hall
Daily Express, 20 December 2012

Taxpayers are facing a growing bill for a hidden 200,000 migrants a year who slip into Britain without being officially recorded in population figures, council chiefs warned last night.

The annual influx, equivalent to a city the size of York or Peterborough, is said to be an increasing burden on services.

But the migrants are not counted in official estimates because they only remain in Britain for less than 12 months, according to figures released yesterday.

The extent of the "short-term migrants" was raised in research based on the 2011 Census commissioned by three local authorities.

Westminster Council said at least 6,900 short-term migrants were living within its borders at any one time.

Providing services such as schooling, refuse collection and supporting rough sleepers was costing an estimated £2 million a year. ...

Council officials estimated that the total number of short-term migrants across Britain last year was 195,074. They were not included in the annual figure for net migration, which was 183,000 in the 12 months to last March.

And as well as the short-term migrants, around 442,000 illegal immigrants are estimated to be living in London alone.

As a result, the councils fear the Government is hugely underestimating the true cost of immigration to council taxpayers around Britain. ...

Meanwhile, David Cameron was yesterday warned that Britain faces a fresh surge of immigrants when visa restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians are lifted in January 2014.

At Prime Minister's Questions, Tory backbencher Philip Hollobone urged him to consider using emergency EU rules to further delay the introduction of freedom-of-movement for citizens of the two new EU member nations.

Mr Hollobone urged the PM to "look seriously at triggering the national interest clauses to stem this new flow, especially for those with criminal records or who seek access to our benefit system".

Mr Cameron promised to look at the suggestion but warned the "national interest" clauses could only be triggered in cases of extreme emergency.
[Site link]


Immigration – numbers, education
Net migration fall partly driven by increase in student visitor visas, think-tank claims
Wesley Johnson
Daily Telegraph, 30 November 2012

The biggest fall in net migration for four years was driven in part by foreign students opting for visitor visas to avoid a crackdown on bogus students, a think-tank has claimed.

The number of student visit visas, intended for foreign students on courses shorter than a year, rose 12% to a record high of 66,569 in the year ending September, Home Office figures showed.

Sarah Mulley, associate director of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) think-tank, warned that the coalition's "single-minded focus" on reducing net migration to the tens of thousands by 2015 could be creating "new enforcement problems in the future".

Her comments came as net migration, the difference between the numbers arriving and leaving, fell by a quarter to 183,000 in the year to March, with the numbers of foreign students, workers and migrants from outside the EU coming to the UK all down.

Mark Harper, the immigration minister, welcomed the biggest drop in four years, saying the government's tough policies were taking effect and ministers were "bringing immigration back under control".

"This is the first government to comprehensively tackle abuse of the student route and we will continue to crack down on any abuse that comes to light," he said.

"We will refuse any student visit visa application if we have doubts about their motivation for coming to the UK to study or their intention to leave."

But Ms Mulley said: "'Student visitors' who come to the UK for less than 12 months do not count as migrants for the purposes of net migration figures, but are subject to less rigorous checks than those coming through the main student visa route.

"The number of student visitor visas issued is continuing to rise, perhaps because tough action on student visas aimed at meeting the target has led to a displacement effect.

"The government needs to be sure that it has the systems in place to deal with this." ...

The number of non-EU migrants coming to the UK fell by 21,000 to 296,000 over the last year, the number of foreign students was down by 19,000 to 213,000 and the number of migrants who came for work-related reasons was down by 17,000 to 177,000.

But there were significant rises in the number of foreign students coming to the UK from China and Pakistan, with the numbers rising by 15,000 and 10,000 respectively.

Emigration from the UK also rose, up to 353,000 from 336,000, including some 145,000 Britons, more than half (56%) of whom left for work-related reasons.
[Site link]


Immigration – numbers
Immigration rate sees biggest fall in 20 years following clampdown on language colleges
Steve Doughty
Daily Mail, 29 November 2012

Immigration into Britain saw the biggest fall in 20 years last year, official figures showed today.

There were 536,000 people who came from abroad to live in this country, down by 42,000 in a year.

The drop was the biggest recorded since immigration went down by 61,000 during the recession of 1991 and the numbers coming in were the lowest since 2004, the year that marked the beginning of the arrival of hundreds of thousands of Polish and Eastern European workers. ...

The key net migration figure - the number of people added to the population after both immigration and emigration have been counted - dropped by nearly a quarter from 242,000 to 183,000 in the latest count, which covers the 12 months up to the end of March.

The main reason for the fall was a dramatic reduction in numbers of migrants arriving on student visas. Students coming in to join courses at further education colleges went down by 67 per cent, those going to English language schools by 76 per cent.

However students going into the high end of the education system, the universities, went up by one per cent. ...

Student numbers have come down following new limits on study visas for people living outside the European Union and a crackdown on bogus colleges used as routes to cheat the immigration system. ...

There have also been tighter controls on the issue of work visas for low-skilled workers from outside the EU.

The 24 per cent fall in net migration for the 12 months to April followed a recorded fall in the calendar year 2011.

But the 2011 net migration drop, from 252,000 from 210,000, was dismissed by the Office for National Statistics as 'not statistically significant' because of the vagaries of the survey used to gather the figures.

This time, Paul Vickers of the ONS said: 'We think this is a real change.' Emigration from Britain helped drive down the net migration total.

Some 353,000 people left to live abroad in the year to the end of March, compared with 336,000 in the previous year. The increase was mainly driven by more people taking jobs abroad.

Study was the main reason for immigration, but there was an eight per cent drop in the number of people coming here for formal study, with 213,000 students arriving this year compared to a peak of 232,000 in the year to March 2011.

Home Office figures released yesterday showed that in the 12 months up to the end of September student visas issued went down by 26 per cent, from 284,649, to 210,921.
[Site link]


Immigration – protest
Boston protest held over immigration levels
BBC, 19 November 2012

A protest against "high-levels" of immigration in a Lincolnshire market town has taken place.

The Boston Protest Group said the "peaceful demonstration" was aimed at highlighting the pressure put on local services by migrant workers.

About 300 people gathered at the Herbert Ingram memorial for the demonstration, which organisers said was not aimed at individuals.

An estimated 9,000 foreign workers have settled in the town in recent years.

Protest organiser Dean Everitt said: "We had a good turnout of people, the right people, and we put our point across peacefully.

"I hope national government are going to know what we've done - we'll take it to Westminster until we get this issue sorted out."

He added: "We've proved a point - we're not right-wing thugs, we're not racists, we're just everyday people that are fed up and sick to the back teeth of migration.

"I work with Polish people and even they've said there are far too many here now."
[Site link]


Britain powerless to stop tens of thousands of Bulgarians and Romanians moving to UK next year, Theresa May admits
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph website, 11 November 2012

Britain is powerless to stop tens of thousands of Eastern European immigrants from coming to live in Britain from next year, Theresa May has admitted.

Five year old quotas limiting the number of people from Bulgaria and Romania who can move to live in Britain are due to expire in just over 12 months' time.

This will give 29 million Bulgarians and Romanians the right to live and work unrestricted in Britain in 2014 under European "freedom of movement" rules.

In an interview on BBC1, the Home Secretary said Britain would not be able to extend the so-called "transitional arrangements" to limit the expected influx.

Mrs May hinted that Britain might try to deny them benefits and access to the National Health Service to put them off from coming.

She told the Andrew Marr programme: "There are no further transitional controls that we can put on – the transitional controls end in December 2013.

"But that's where the importance of looking at some of the issues about what it is that is attracting people to come here, in terms of things like our benefits system and access to the health service, is so important." ...

The Home Office has made no official predictions of how many more Bulgarians and Romanians will seek to enter Britain when the current limitations end, and argues that most who want to come have probably arrived already, finding work on the black market if they cannot work legally.
[Site link]


New study examines migration to UK
Daily Express, 6 November 2012

Migrants from the Indian sub-continent are more likely to settle in the UK than those from wealthier countries, a report has found.

People coming to the UK from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan were "much more likely to stay permanently in the UK" than migrants from the wealthier Old Commonwealth countries, the Home Office-commissioned report into emigration said. ...

Just 10% of migrants to the UK from the Indian sub-continent in the 1980s and 1990s left within two years of arriving, and only 15% left within five years, figures showed.

But 44% of migrants from Australia and New Zealand left the UK within two years of arriving, probably due to the "large numbers arriving on two-year, young persons' working visas", and 57% within five years.

Two-thirds of those from the USA and Canada also emigrated from the UK within five years, the report added.

Other studies found more migrants from the Indian sub-continent settled in the UK compared with migrants from Australia, New Zealand and the USA.
[Site link]


Immigration – Bulgarians and Romanians
Britain facing new eastern Europe immigration surge
David Barrett and Colin Freeman
Sunday Telegraph, 28 October 2012
[The website date given for this report is 21 October but the print date is 28 October]

Britain is facing a new wave of Eastern European immigration which will put British workers' jobs at risk, experts have warned.

Twenty nine million Bulgarians and Romanians will gain the right to live and work unrestricted in Britain in 2014 under European "freedom of movement" rules.

Last night forecasters said it could lead to a significant number of new arrivals, in the same way as when Poland and other Eastern European countries gained the same rights in 2004, with the scale likely to be increased by the economic crisis gripping the rest of Europe.

And a Government report was disclosed to show concern among official advisers that the British labour market will suffer "adverse effects" as a result.

Both the countries' citizens currently have restricted rights to come to Britain since they joined the European Union in 2007, but those limits end on 31 December 2013, opening the way for them to move freely. ...

But there appears to be no prospect of Britain preventing the restrictions being lifted, as it would involve tearing up the provisions of the treaty signed when Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU. ...

Experts on the government's Migration Advisory Committee agree immigration is likely to rise when the restrictions are lifted, and have warned it will have a negative effect on the job market in Britain. ...

Robert Rowthorn, emeritus professor of economics at Cambridge University, said: "The potential for immigration is very large because these are poor countries and they have populations of nearly 30 million between them. ...

More than 130,000 immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria are living in Britain and Britain is one of the most popular destinations for Bulgarian migrants, along with Greece, Spain and Germany, while the Romanian Embassy says that Spain and Italy attract 80 per cent of their emigrants.

But the perilous state of the Greek and Spanish economies may mean that much larger numbers of Romanians and Bulgarians decide to come here instead.

Those who come currently either have to have a job when they move or declare themselves as self-employed.

However an investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has revealed how loopholes in current restrictions have allowed eastern Europeans to take 50,000 jobs from which they should have been excluded.

By declaring themselves technically "self-employed", Bulgarians and Romanians have been able to access jobs in trades like hotel and restaurant work, sales, and taxi-driving. Hundreds of women have also been hired as self-employed lapdancers.

Romanian and British job agencies have become adept at streamlining the paperwork involved for employers, so that even waiters, hotel receptionists and porters can be hired on a self-employed basis. ...

Official figures from the Department for Work and Pensions showed 40,260 Romanian and Bulgarian workers applied for National Insurance numbers last year - the largest number on record and a 28 per cent rise year on year.
[Site link]


Immigration – employment
Labour 'used migrants to keep wages low'
Martyn Brown
Daily Express, 10 October 2012

Labour fostered a policy of mass immigration to the UK in a deliberate attempt to keep British wages down, Theresa May said yesterday.

The Home Secretary said Tony Blair and Gordon Brown's open-door to immigration was part of a "covert" 21st century incomes policy.

She said the plan failed because for every 100 non-European working age immigrants 23 fewer British-born workers found jobs.

Tearing Labour's record to shreds Mrs May vowed to slash net migration from 216,000 to tens of thousands within two years. She told the Tory conference:

"It takes time to establish the social bonds that make a community, and that's why immigration can never again be as rapid or on the same scale as we saw under Labour.

"Uncontrolled, mass immigration undermines social cohesion. And in some places, it overburdens our infrastructure and public services.

"It's behind more than a third of the demand for all new housing in the UK. And the pressure it places on schools is clear. We see it in London, where almost half of all primary school children speak English as a second language.

"And we must be honest about the fact that, in some cases, uncontrolled mass immigration can displace local workers and undercut wages."

Mrs May, wearing her trademark leopard print kitten heels, said independent advisers found "every 100 non-European working age immigrants were associated with 23 fewer British-born people in work".

According to Ed Miliband's policy chief Jon Cruddas, Labour used migration "to introduce a covert 21st century incomes policy", she said.

She added: "That's right, Labour – the party of the working man and woman – admit that they deliberately used immigration to keep down British wages."
[Site link]


Immigration – public opinion, population pressure
When will our politicians realise that it's not racist to actually DO something about immigration?
Lord Carey
Mail on Sunday, 7 October 2012
[On the eve of the Tory conference, the ex-Archbishop of Canterbury pleads with David Cameron to confront out 'most divisive issue']

We are two-thirds of the way through party conference season. ...

But there has been a resounding silence on the most divisive issue in our national political debate. The scale of mass immigration in recent years is a subject virtually ignored despite having contributed, according to the most recent census, to the population growing by 3.7 million in ten years.

The challenge now is for the Conservative conference to bring this urgent issue to the forefront. The public has repeatedly said immigration is second only to the economy among the problems facing our country.

This concern was highlighted when a public petition on the Downing Street website reached the necessary 100,000 signatories to trigger a House of Commons debate within a week.

For years, anyone who has dared to tread, however carefully, on this disputed territory risked accusations of racism and intolerance. The word 'bigot' has been used by some politicians to describe anyone who questions the metropolitan consensus.

But the growing realisation that immigration is unsustainable at the current rate has led to a slow detoxification of the debate.

A number of parliamentarians – particularly those involved with the cross-party Balanced Migration Group, of which I am a member – have exploded many of the myths about immigration.

We have argued that concern about rapid population growth is not an issue of race, and neither should it be exploited by racists.

It is time for the leadership of the political parties to catch up with a growing consensus that mass immigration can and should be dealt with urgently and not shelved on the 'to-do' list.

Why should a former Church of England leader like myself intervene? After all, the Christian faith emphasises the need to welcome the stranger. ...

The Church has rightly and repeatedly given sanctuary to genuine asylum-seekers over the years. This compassionate Christian tradition has contributed to the British reputation for tolerance and a very proud history of welcoming successive waves of immigrants.

But there comes a point when we have to reconsider policy and, without backing away from a commitment to those who need asylum, find ways to limit the scale of immigration, which is disturbing our way of life.

The stark fact is that our proud heritage of welcoming strangers is threatened by the breakdown of our border control during the past 15 years. Net migration was allowed to increase from 50,000 a year in 1997 to a record level of 250,000 in 2010.

The growth in population during the ten years to 2011 was the largest recorded since the first census in 1801.

Many suspected a deliberate intention to change our society for ever by the last Labour Government. Others have claimed this rapid change is an inevitable consequence of globalisation. ...

Looking ahead, if present levels of immigration are allowed to continue, our population will reach 70 million in 15 years' time. Of the extra seven million, about five million will be due to new immigrants and their children.

I can think of no one who really wants to see this happen, with its associated pressure on our creaking housing stock and the threat to the Green Belt.
[Site link]


Immigration – rich immigrants
£1m buys foreign investors right to live in Britain
Harry Wilson
Sunday Telegraph, 7 October 2012

Foreign millionaires are flocking to use a little-known immigration scheme that allows wealthy individuals to jump to the top of the queue for permanent residency.

Rich Russians and Chinese are increasingly using "investor visas" that allow wealthy foreigners to effectively buy the right to live in the UK in return for buying at least £1m of gilts or shares and bonds in British companies.

Top London private bankers have expressed concerns at the number of people using the scheme to gain permanent resident status, arguing that the authorities should consider raising the amount of money needed to gain residency.

"The £1m threshold was put in place more than 20 years ago and is not the obstacle it once was. We have seen a huge increase in demand from Russians, Chinese and people from the Middle East wanting to move to London and it is clear that given the unlimited demand the time may have come to charge more for entry," said on senior London banker.

The most recent figures from the Home Office show that more than 400 people applied to use the investor visa scheme in the 12 months to the end of June. This compares with a total of 331 people in 2011 and fewer than 200 in 2009.
[Site link]


Immigration – Poles
Poles return to Britain despite ailing economy
Matthew Day and Martin Beckford
Daily Telegraph, 27 September 2012

Poles are returning to Britain to look for work despite the poor state of the economy.

Official figures show the number of Poles living here rose by 45,000 last year, the first annual rise since the financial crash.

The increase comes despite their homeland's economy growing strongly, while Britain languishes in a double-dip recession with more than 2.5 million people out of work.

Experts believe the new wave of immigration is explained by far lower salaries in Eastern Europe.

It will cast renewed doubt on the Home Office's attempts to reduce net migration – the number of people who settle in Britain every year minus those who move abroad – to the "tens of thousands" from the current rate of more than 200,000 annually. ...

"Among the countries that for years now have been a main destination for Poles, the UK has seen a significant rise in migrants," said a new report by Poland's Central Statistics Office.

The study, based on census results for 2011, disclosed that the number of Poles living in Britain now stands at 625,000.

It reverses a decline in migration since the high-water mark of 2007, which saw 695,000 settle.

The increase exceeds even that of Germany, which saw just an additional 30,000 Poles moving across the border despite the labour market being opened to them last year, and cemented Britain's position as their destination of choice. ...

Almost a decade after Britain opened its doors to Poles, many towns and cities now have established expat communities.

With most Poles knowing somebody who lives in Britain, moving there and finding work and accommodation presents few barriers.
[Site link]


Immigration – education
Exposed, the 'myth' of bright foreign students: Just five per cent attend university rated in the top ten
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 24 September 2012

The vast majority of foreign students who come to the UK attend 'lower level' universities and colleges, a study has revealed.

Just five per cent of the students who enter Britain each year go to a university rated in the top ten. Around one in eight goes to one of the top 24 Russell group universities.

Think tank MigrationWatch, which carried out the study, said the figures exploded the myth that the non-EU students coming to the UK were the 'brightest and the best'.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of MigrationWatch said: 'This report lifts the lid on what is really happening in the university sector.

'Non-EU students are being recruited to prop up the finances of less well known universities.

'It is time that the strong public interest in immigration control was properly balanced against the self-serving pleading of the universities lobby in the UK which is in denial about the potential impact of foreign students on net migration.'

The MigrationWatch study, based on official figures, estimates that around 13,600 non-EU students entered a top ten university last year - or around five per cent of all arrivals.

Some 34,300 went to a Russell Group institution - or 12.5 per cent of new students.

The study follows comments by a leading academic who suggested international students are being used as 'cash cows' by universities.

Last week Professor Susan Bassnett, former pro vice chancellor at Warwick University said higher education institutions were blithely accepting foreign students whose English was so poor who would struggle to pass an English GCSE because they were reliant on fees up to £20,000 a year. ...

Numbers of foreign students entering the UK have trebled in the past decade. Since 2007 they have increased from around 104,000 to 180,000 last year, a rise of 73 per cent.

It is unknown how many return home at the end of their courses.
[Site link]


Immigration – public opinion, politics
Will they ever heed the voice of Britain?
Daily Mail, 22 September 2012
[Leading article]

For three decades, an official annual report has highlighted the widening chasm between the views of the British people and those of the metropolitan, liberal elite who control the levers of power.

Indeed, the findings have become so familiar that the 30th British Social Attitudes survey, published this week, has attracted only perfunctory coverage.

Yet it reveals a crisis in our democracy that screams out for attention. It calls into question the very integrity of our system of government, as an inward-looking and increasingly isolated political class blocks its ears to the views of the people it is supposed to represent.

Take immigration. The survey finds that 75 per cent of the public want it reduced immediately, while more than half – up from 40 per cent in 1995 – say it should be cut by 'a lot'.

For the first time, too, a majority reject claims that migrants are good for the economy, with resentment highest among the low paid (who, unlike the bien pensant advocates of open borders, have to compete with foreigners for work).

Defying public opinion, however, the Coalition allowed net immigration to hit a record 252,000 last year.

Meanwhile, the BSA report finds that just a third believe immigration has been of cultural benefit, while 48 per cent say it has had a negative effect.

But you won't find a single mainstream politician who speaks for that 48 per cent. Indeed, with one voice, the major parties argue vociferously against their views. ...

Yet the widely-held views voiced in the BSA survey are either ignored or howled down by the publicly funded BBC – by far our most powerful news organisation, which has relentlessly pushed the liberal line and vilified the views of the people.

Meanwhile, even the feeblest attempts to match official policy to the public's beliefs are fiercely resisted on both government and opposition benches.

No wonder voters are close to despair that their crosses on the ballot paper will ever make a difference.
[Site link]


Immigration – economy, politics
What If Rich Countries Shut the Door on Immigration? They would start to look like North Korea, says an Oxford professor
World Economic Forum
Time, 20 September 2012

This is a "what if" interview from the World Economic Forum's Risk Response Network. ...

Amid a global recession, catastrophic rates of unemployment in developed countries and a rising tide of xenophobia, the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with TIME, speaks with Ian Goldin, director of the Oxford Martin School and a professor of globalization and development at the University of Oxford, about the likelihood of anti-immigrant policies coming to the fore. Goldin warns that such policies would not only harm communities the world over, but be counterproductive.

Are we in the throes of a global backlash against immigration?

We're seeing an increasing focus on immigration in response to the severe economic crisis, rising unemployment and falling living standards. As has happened throughout history, there's a tendency to blame immigrants for these problems. Politically, it's an easy option, but it's never worked out too well as a strategy.

And there are clear signs of this?

... On the political level, there are also very real examples of anti- immigration policies. In the U.K., the government has put dramatic caps on migration, which are making it hard to hire skilled workers. It's so difficult to get a visa now that I'm finding that people from, say, China or South Africa are no longer willing to come to academic conferences here. ... In the U.S., immigration is a hot topic ahead of the elections, although what's interesting there is that since Latinos are such a significant voting force it changes the dynamic. ...

What would the broader consequences be?

As well as the ethical implications and the loss of cultural diversity, locking out immigrants would fundamentally undermine the competitiveness of developed economies. ...

What would a society without immigration feel like?

It would be like living in North Korea.

What's the best way to prevent a backlash against migration?

I'm not politically naive. I'm not recommending open borders, though that might be an ideal to work toward, just as we have with free-trade negotiations over a period of around 50 years. For now, the first thing is to recognize that migration has not been managed well enough. Migrants bring with them short-term, local costs, whereas the benefits are society-wide and long term, so there is a mismatch. Whether we're talking about Lampedusa, the island off the coast of Italy that is the first port of call for refugees from Tunisia, or Slough, a British town with a large migrant population, local people understandably feel that immigration is a burden. It's a national issue that needs to be managed on the national level. Second, leaders need to be more honest. What's depressing about the current status quo is that there's no empirical evidence to support this view that immigrants take people's jobs, swallow up resources and are a drag on the economy. But the myth is propagated, despite the fact that, depending on how far you go back, we're all immigrants.
[Site link]


Immigration – public opinion
Half the British population think immigration 'is bad for the economy' as public support for welfare state falls to record low
Steve Doughty
Daily Mail, 17 September 2012

The annual report on the state of public opinion also showed deepening worries about high levels of immigration.

For the first time, more than half the population reject claims that migrants are good for the economy, it found.

Resentment over the economic impact of immigration is highest among lower-paid workers - the people who have faced the toughest competition from migrants for jobs - the report said. ...

The British Social Attitudes report, published every year since 1983, is widely seen as a barometer for the underlying attitudes that shape politics and government policies.

Financed by Iain Duncan Smith's Department of Work and Pensions, together with a series of other state bodies and a number of private charities, it is based on a survey taken last year of more than 3,300 people. ...

On immigration, the argument that migration is good for the economy has lost support, the survey found.

In 2002 only 43 per cent of the population thought migrants harmed the economy. Now the figure is above half, at 52 per cent, with nearly two thirds of lower paid and lesser skilled people deploring the economic impact of migration.

More than half, 51 per cent, want immigration reduced by a lot, and, in total, three quarters want to see immigration cuts.
[Site link]


Immigration – public opinion
How 75% want to see immigration slashed
Alison Little
Daily Express, 17 September 2012

Strong public support for cutting immigration and a hardening attitude to benefit spongers are revealed in a major new survey today.

Three-quarters of those questioned wanted immigration reduced.

More than half said it was bad for the economy and 48 per cent thought it undermined Britain's cultural life.

But people drew a distinction between different types of incomers.

Highly skilled workers and students with good qualifications were widely welcomed as being good for Britain but support plunged in the case of unskilled labourers.
[Site link]


Immigration – public opinion
Voters more likely to back an anti-Muslim party than reject it – poll
Mark Townsend
The Observer, 16 September 2012

More people would support a political party that pledged to stop all immigration or promised to reduce the number of Muslims than one that encouraged multiculturalism, a survey conducted in the wake of the Olympics reveals.

Despite London 2012 being heralded as a celebration of a diverse society, the research suggests much of the electorate remains open to views traditionally associated with far-right groups.

The survey, conducted by YouGov with 1,750 respondents, found that 41% of people would be more likely to vote for a party that promised to stop all immigration, compared with 28% who said they would be less likely to support a group that promoted such policies.

In addition, 37% admitted that they would be more likely to support a political party that promised to reduce the number of Muslims in Britain and the presence of Islam in society, compared with 23% who said it would make them less likely.

Matthew Goodwin of the Extremis Project, an independent group monitoring extremism and terrorism that commissioned the research, said that, although Britain lacked a successful extremist political party, much of the public was susceptible to far-right ideology.

He said: "The results clearly point towards enduring public anxieties over the performance of mainstream political and business elites, immigration and also the role of Muslims and Islam in society." ...

Less than a quarter of 18-to-24-year-olds said they would be more likely to vote for a party that promised to halt all immigration, compared with more than half of those aged above 60. Similarly, 27% of the younger age group said they would vote for a party that campaigned to reduce the number of Muslims, compared with 49% of those aged over 60.

Goodwin, a lecturer at Nottingham University, said: "While we see further evidence of an emerging generation that is more tolerant towards – and accepting of – immigration and diversity, there remains clear potential for a party that ... promises to halt immigration, reduce the number of Muslims and prioritise traditional British values over other cultures."
[Site link]


Immigration – public opinion
Migrants ban: Age divide
Daily Telegraph, 15 September 2012

Half of those over 60 would be open to voting for a party which promised to halt all immigration and reduce the number of Muslims in Britain but younger voters would be turned off by such policies, polling shows.

A YouGov survey of 1,700 people for the Extremis Project, a political research group, found that overall 41 per cent of adults would be more likely to support a party if it promised to stop all immigration while 28 per cent would be less likely to. Among the over-60s, support for the policy was 54 per cent.
[Newspaper link]


Immigration – numbers
Foreign students to be marked out in immigration figures
Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 13 September 2012

Overseas students are to be clearly identified in official immigration figures as part of a Government drive to keep closer tabs foreigners entering and leaving the country.

Students from outside Europe will be "disaggregated" within overall net migration data for the first time as part of a new transparency drive.

Ministers also announced that officials will seek to "improve the quality of data" on the number of students leaving the country amid fears the existing regime fails to keep check on the number of graduates remaining after completing degrees.

The move follows claims from universities and MPs that including students in permanent migration figures was misleading and risked damaging higher education. ...

Although students will not be removed from figures altogether, it is believed that the Home Office will be required to publish two datasets – showing the number of migrants with and without student totals.
[Site link]


Immigration – numbers
Theresa May rejects efforts to keep population below 70m
Martin Beckford
Daily Telegraph, 7 September 2012

The Home Secretary has rejected calls by MPs and immigration campaigners for Britain's population to be kept below 70 million.

Theresa May said she did not think it was the Government's place to put a limit on the total number of people living in the country.

Instead, she told the Home Affairs Select Committee that she was trying to reduce net migration – the number of people settling here each year minus those who move abroad – from the current 200,000 to the "tens of thousands" by 2015.

Mrs May said: "I've never been one that believes Government should be setting a figure for the overall population in that sense.

"What I would aim to do is reduce net migration and that's what we're focusing on."

However shortly after her comments on Thursday, MPs passed a motion calling for the Government to take "all necessary steps" to keep the population below 70m. It currently stands at 63m.

The Commons debate on immigration was triggered by more than 100,000 people signing an e-petition within a week, but only 30 MPs turned up to the chamber.

Leading the debate, Nicholas Soames said the symbolic population level of 70m would be reached in 15 years' time at current levels of immigration.

He said: "In the coming 15 years we will have to build just for new immigrants and their families the equivalent of eight of the largest cities outside the capital." ...

Mark Harper, who was appointed Immigration Minister just 48 hours earlier, said the Government was on target to reduce net migration thanks to policies aimed at keeping bogus students out of Britain and only allowing in the brightest and best workers.

"Immigration can be beneficial to Britain but the unsustainable levels we have seen have been damaging. That was why we said would get a grip."
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The 'last chance saloon' on immigration control: Landmark debate will discuss pressure caused by unprecedented levels
James Slack
Daily Mail, 6 September 2012

David Cameron will be 'saying goodbye to the country we inherited' if he doesn't get a grip on immigration, MPs will be told today.

Labour's Frank Field and the Tory backbencher Nicholas Soames will say the UK is in 'the last chance saloon' in a landmark debate to discuss the pressure on society caused by unprecedented levels of immigration.

They will urge the Government to slash net migration – the difference between those arriving and those leaving – to 50,000 a year.

The debate was called after more than 143,000 people signed a Downing Street e-petition last year urging Mr Cameron to prevent the UK's population, currently 62.3 million, hitting 70 million.

Official forecasts say that, at current rates, that level will be reached in 15 years.

In a joint statement, Mr Field and Mr Soames said: 'This really is the last chance saloon.

'If the Government were to lose its nerve and fail to press on with reform we would be saying goodbye to the country we inherited'.

The two respected MPs joined forces to form a group campaigning for 'balanced migration'.

They will table a motion, based on the e-petition, which calls on the Government 'to take all necessary steps to get immigration down so population is stabilised as close to the present level as possible'. ...

Immigration minister Mark Harper said: 'I'm looking forward to this debate where I will be outlining this Government's commitment to bringing immigration back to sustainable levels.

'Reducing net migration to the tens of thousands is vitally important.

'Recent policies are starting to make a difference.'
[Site link]


Immigration – politics
Act now... or say goodbye to the Britain we know
Frank Field and Nicholas Soames
Daily Mail, 6 September 2012
[Frank Field and Nicholas Soames co-chair the Cross Party Group on Balanced Migration]

The public are fed up with mass immigration. That was the message of the public petition on the Downing Street website launched last autumn.

Only 11 of the 36,000 petitions on that site have reached the 100,000 signatures required to trigger a House of Commons debate.

This petition reached that 100,000 within a week, with the resulting debate in the House of Commons today taking place. We will at last be giving voice to the widespread public concern.

The fact is that the public do not believe the claims of the immigration lobby and they are right. Nor do they think that enough attention has been paid to the impact of such huge numbers on the lives of ordinary people – particularly not by the BBC.

The reality is that we are experiencing by far the largest wave of immigration for nearly 1,000 years.

Certainly, there has been some limited immigration over the centuries and many immigrants and their children have made a positive contribution to this country. But mass immigration is entirely new.

This really is the last chance saloon. If the Government were to lose its nerve and fail to press on with reform we would be saying goodbye to the country we inherited.

The Office for National Statistics recently published the immigration figures back to 1964. It is very interesting to see that, until the early 1980s, more people left Britain than came here. From then until the mid 1990s net migration was never more than about 50,000 a year, and often much less. It took off in 1998 and by 2010 had risen to 250,000 a year – five times higher than in 1997.

There has never been a declared government policy. Nor any planning. And certainly no public support - quite the opposite. By 2008, about three quarters of us wanted to see immigration reduced; half the public wanted it reduced 'by a lot'.

Their wishes are yet to be met.

The impact of these numbers is already being felt throughout the country and the big cuts to public expenditure are still to come.

Maternity units are struggling. Primary schools are running out of places. And pressure on housing is getting worse, especially given that housing construction has plummeted.

This pressure on services is nothing when compared to what we will face if the government does not succeed in reducing future net immigration.

For the last ten years net immigration has averaged about 200,000 a year.

If that is allowed to continue our population will climb from 62.3 million to 70 million in just 15 years time. About 2.5 million of that will be natural increase – more births than deaths. The other five million will be down to new immigrants and their children.

What that means in practice is that we will have to build the equivalent of our eight major cities outside the capital – that is to say a Birmingham plus a Leeds, a Glasgow, a Sheffield, a Bradford, a Manchester, a Liverpool and a Bristol.

All this in just 15 years! Where will the money come from when the Government is already borrowing £1 for every £4 that it spends?

This is obviously unsustainable. That is why the petition, launched by MigrationWatch UK, an independent think-tank, called for the Government to take all necessary measures to stabilise our population, below 70 million.
[Site link]


Migration confusion is costing Britain dear
The Observer, 2 September 2012
[Leading article]

On Thursday, MPs Frank Field and Nicholas Soames will lead a parliamentary debate, prompted by an e-petition sponsored by the pressure group Migration Watch. It expresses deep concern that, despite very strong public opposition to "mass immigration", the population of the UK is expected to reach 70 million within 20 years, two-thirds of the increase due to migration. Undoubtedly, Thursday's "No to 70 million" debate will be marked by some clarity but also a great deal of confusion, contradiction and the employment of similar sets of statistics robustly interpreted to serve opposing sides of the argument.

Immigration is an issue steeped in prejudice, traditionally too easily exploited by groups on both the right and left. At times, the toxic results have had a horrible impact on the lives of those who, over the decades, have otherwise successfully made the UK their home.

A discussion is much needed on the many issues that arise from immigration. Its economic and cultural impact; its effect on the rationing of resources such as health and housing; and its impact on population, in particular on the level at which we feel the UK is deemed "overcrowded", given its requirement for a youthful influx to provide for an ageing society.

However, that discussion is again and again sabotaged because immigration provides politicians with levers that are at times too carelessly pulled, particularly in the pre-party conference season. The result is often highly negative.
[Site link]


Immigration – numbers
Net immigration falls slightly to 216,000, says ONS
Randeep Ramesh
The Guardian, 30 August 2012

More than 200,000 immigrants entered Britain last year – a figure that was not a "statistically significant" different from the previous year, the Office for National Statistics has reported.

Although net immigration – the difference between total immigration and total emigration – was calculated at 216,000 and had an apparent drop of 36,000 on the previous figure of 252,000, the ONS said that the margin of error was "too large" to discount. Experts said that it was a "folly" for ministers to have set a target of reducing net migration to under 100,000 a year, when they could not measure with an accuracy of 36,000.

"It's a fair question to ask whether you can measure this and have a reliable estimate with such a large margin of error," said Martin Ruhs, director of the Migration Observatory at Oxford University.

"The uncertainty in the UK's migration estimates also mean that it is very difficult to assess how well the government is progressing towards its target of reducing net migration to the 'tens of thousands', or to evaluate the effects of specific policy changes.

"In simple terms, the government could miss the 'tens of thousands' target by many tens of thousands and still appear to have hit it – conversely the government could hit, or even exceed its target and still appear to have missed it."

In its latest release of migration statistics the ONS said that estimated total long-term immigration to the UK in the year to December 2011 was 566,000, comparable to 591,000 in 2010 "and has remained broadly at a similar level since 2004".

Meanwhile emigration in the year to December 2010 was 350,000 – an apparently slight increase on 339,000 figure the year before.

The ONS said that it was not "confident that the difference (in net immigration) is a real change and not just due to random variation from a sample survey". ...

In the year to June 2012 there were 282,833 visas issued for "the purpose of study", a fall of 21% compared with the previous 12 months.

There was also a 7% fall in the number of work-related visas issued until June 2012 and excluding visitor and transit visas, the number of visas issued fell 16% to 519,730 in the year ending June 2012.

However Ruhs said it was important to note that the figures for immigration related to December 2011 and that the falls in visas issued were recorded six months later. "You cannot compare the two sets of data".

Ministers however trumpeted the falls. Immigration minister Damian Green said: "We are now starting to see the real difference our tough policies are making, with an overall fall in net migration and the number of visas issued at its lowest since 2005."
[Site link]


Immigration – numbers, politics
There is little sign of progress towards the government's migration pledge
Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migrationwatch UK
Conservative Home, 30 August 2012

Net migration fell last year from 252,000 to 216,000 but the drop is not statistically significant. There is thus very little progress to show nearly half way through the government's term. ...

So what can be done? The first thing is to choose the right target. EU migration is a distraction. It amounts to only 20-30% of net foreign migration and is largely cancelled out by British emigration. In the long term it would decline if the economies of Eastern Europe improved.

The real reason for the increase is the inflow from non-EU countries triggered by Labour policy. For the last ten years 300,000 people have arrived from outside the EU every year but only 100,000 have left; last year was no different. ...

Measures on economic migration have probably been taken as far as they can for the time being. Business now needs a period of stability and predictability. Meanwhile, they should stop bleating about Britain not being "open for business". In the first year of operation of the "cap", less than half of the work permits available have been taken up. Transfers by international companies, which are not capped, grew from 22,000 in 2009 to 30,000 in 2011. There are also special arrangements for entrepreneurs. Furthermore, 12 million people arrive every year from outside the EU, including over 1.5 million business visitors. The complaints of the business community do not stand up. Indeed, they are damaging their own cause by feeding such a false impression.

The real battle ground now lies with international students. The numbers have increased by 60% in the last 5 years and many institutions have plans for even further increases. Nearly 20% of students stay on legally and an unknown number do so illegally. With half a million non EU students now arriving every year and still no checks on their departure, a conflict is developing between the ambitions of the higher education sector and the strong public demand for immigration control.

The consequences of failing to control immigration are beginning to dawn even on the enthusiasts. If net immigration is allowed to continue at the 200,000 a year as over the last ten years, our population will grow by an extra five million in just 15 years. This is equivalent to building our eight largest cities outside the capital – that is Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Sheffield, Bradford, Manchester, Liverpool and Bristol – just for new immigrants and their children. Where can we possibly find the money for this when £1 in every £4 that the government spends is borrowed?

The public are increasingly aware of this. As maternity units, primary schools and housing come under growing pressure they will not understand why the government has failed to get a grip of immigration – especially as we are an island. ...

In political terms, it is time the Conservatives turned up the heat on Liberal Democrat obstruction. 70% of potential Lib Dem voters support the government's immigration objectives but it seems that their activists wield the whip.
[Site link]


Immigration – numbers
Census 2011: population rise due to dodgy data
Randeep Ramesh
The Guardian, 17 July 2012

Are we filling up too fast? On census day, 27 March last year, England and Wales contained 56.1 million people – up by 3.7 million, a shade over 7% in a decade. This is the biggest increase since the census began in 1801, with half a million more than the statisticians expected.

In British political life there are few subjects as touchy as immigration and any undercounting will lead to suspicions that foreigners are silently slipping into the country. The truth appears more prosaic. The Office for National Statistics says 209,000 (45%) of the unexpected difference is because of failings in the 2001 census.

Another 267,000, representing 55% of the population increase, was "attributed to an underestimation of net international migration over the decade". The census admits that it missed young people aged 10 to 19 from abroad and women aged 25 to 44.

This is important as immigrants have more children. The ONS's latest figures show that although British-born mothers are more fertile than before, they still have fewer babies on average (1.88) than foreign-born mothers (2.45), who account for a quarter of all births. ...

Underlying the debate is the fact that calculating immigration relies on using the notoriously unreliable international passenger survey, which is too small and does not sample randomly. The result is dodgy data. A little less than 15% of the total amount can be directly attributed to people who were coming to stay but decide to leave. A fifth is to do with travel across the Irish Sea.

Two-thirds of the missing 267,000 is down to the survey "underestimating immigration or overestimating emigration". How many people leave the country is as important as how many enter, especially last year, when about 30,000 UK citizens emigrated – the lowest for almost a decade. The Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford points out that there are 2.23 million EU migrants in Britain but 1.42 million Britons living on the continent.

Scott Blinder of the Migration Observatory team said the government's proposed capping of immigration to "tens of thousands" would be ineffective if errors this large were allowed to persist, adding that the government's e-Borders electronic system for counting in people and counting them out was two years from producing data.
[Site link]


Immigration – national identity
Tories fail to solve immigration crisis that blights Britain
Leo McKinstry
Daily Express, 16 July 2012

No greater bunch of treacherous charlatans ever held office than the last Labour Government.

Without any consent from the British people, this gang of traitors enacted an unparalleled social revolution in our country by promoting by mass immigration on an epic scale.

Our national identity was shattered, our mutual sense of belonging obliterated and our civic infrastructure put under intolerable strain.

Tragically, the Tory-led Coalition has dismally failed to reverse this disastrous trend.

From Ministers, we have had nothing but hollow words. The colonisation of Britain by foreigners continues to accelerate. ...

The true size of British population may actually be much bigger than today's survey indicates, for there are a number of serious flaws with the current Census.

One is the simple fact that the information has already become hopelessly out of date, thanks to the unprecedented and growing waves of immigration.

In 2011, an incredible 593,000 foreigners, mostly from Asia and Africa, came to settle in Britain, an increase on 2010 when 582,000 immigrants arrived here.

Moreover, migrant families tend to have far more children than the indigenous population, further speeding up the rate of change. ... ...

Crucially, the Government machine has a vested interest in downplaying the number of immigrants living here. ...

According to the Conservative MP Greg Hands, a leading figure at the TESCO supermarket chain said in 2008 that "they estimate the population of the UK to be closer to 80 million, based on the volume of certain staples that they sell."

This is backed up a major, non-commercial agricultural institution which reckoned that there are 77 million people currently in the UK, this figure again based on how much we eat.

Such estimates make sense.

Our border controls are notoriously inadequate, while the Home Office admits that it "hasn't a clue" how many illegal immigrants are living in this country.

Moreover, the total of National Insurance numbers dished out by the Government is far higher than the official level of immigration. Between 2004 and 2007, 270,000 work permits were issued by the Government to non-European nationals, yet over 900,000 National Insurance numbers were issued.

As a graphic illustration of this farce, just 1455 Nigerians were given leave to enter Britain in this period, yet 35,900 Nigerians got NI numbers.

We can see with our own eyes how immigration is transforming Britain far more radically than officialdom ever admits.

All around us are over-stretched public services and overcrowded roads. Vast swathes of our urban landscape, dominated by the babble of foreign tongues, squalid markets or ethnic gangs, no longer resemble Britain any more.

The great lie perpetrated by the Labour Government was that the mass immigration was a means of improving our country. The tidal wave of foreigners would not only raise our prosperity but also enrich our culture, claimed the Labour politicians.

But the opposite has been true. Immigration has been a vehicle for economic destruction and social disintegration.
[Site link]


Immigration – numbers
Five million non-EU immigrants living in UK
Daily Telegraph, 12 July 2012

The UK is home to almost five million people who were born outside the 27 EU member states, more than almost any other European country, new figures have shown.

Only Germany and France have a greater population of immigrants born outside of the EU than the UK, which has an estimated 4.9 million foreigners living in the country.

There are also 2.3 million immigrants from other EU countries living in Britain, according to the research.

The provisional data, from the EU statistics office Eurostat, suggested foreign citizens made up seven per cent of the UK population.
[Site link]


Immigration – numbers
2.33m EU migrants are living in Britain: Only Spain and Germany more popular than the UK
Steve Doughty
Daily Mail, 12 July 2012

Britain is home to 2.33 million immigrants from other EU countries, more than almost anywhere else in Europe, according to analysis revealed yesterday.

Only Spain and Germany are home to more, the research found.

The estimates suggest that just under a third of all immigrants living in Britain have come from other EU countries.

And the real number may be much higher than the count produced by the EU's statistical arm Eurostat.

Its research is based on figures from Britain's Office for National Statistics, which are notoriously unreliable because there is no guaranteed way of assessing the numbers of EU citizens living here.

The latest estimates said there were 2,334,400 people born in EU countries other than Britain living here last year.
[Site link]


Immigration – numbers
Migrant population in some parts of England double previous estimate
Martin Beckford and Matthew Holehouse
Daily Telegraph, 28 June 2012

Twice as many immigrants have settled in some parts of England than previously thought, updated figures suggest.

The number of foreigners settling in one part of Lincolnshire over the past five years is three times higher than earlier estimates, according to revised calculations, while the number of new arrivals in parts of east London, Herefordshire and even Aylesbury has doubled.

Overall the population of London has risen by 16 per cent, or almost 130,000 extra people, as a result of changes made by the Office for National Statistics.

But some councils, including Cambridge, Norwich and Durham, have "lost" up to half of their immigrant communities in the move, prompting fears that they will also lose funding to run public services from central Government as a result.

The number of foreign-born people coming to live, study or work in Britain is currently only based on a voluntary questionnaire carried out at ports and airports, while detailed estimates of where new arrivals settle have been calculated in different ways.

Under the ONS's latest methodology, published this week by the Greater London Authority, migrants were separated into "streams" depending on if they are workers, students or children, then their movements across the country were tracked using health, education and welfare registers.

Overall, the estimated number of immigrants arriving for more than a year between 2006 and 2010 fell by 0.4 per cent, to 2.52m under the revised calculations.

But the numbers settling in London rose by 16 per cent to reach 942,800. ...

Across the country, the biggest rise was seen in Boston, where the number of recent migrants increases by 218 per cent to 7,500 over five years. In 2008, a Labour minister claimed that Eastern European's made up a quarter of the town's residents. ...

Meanwhile the OECD, a leading think-tank, found that the slowdown in international migration caused by the global economic crisis has come to an end.

There is some evidence that the Eurozone crisis has started to see people emigrating from Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, while there has also been a rise in asylum seekers fleeing 'Arab Spring' countries in North Africa and the Middle East.

The OECD said net migration has reached the "highest figure ever recorded" of 252,000 in Britain while the number of people granted settlement in 2010 reached a "record level" of 241,000 as a backlog of cases was cleared.
[Site link]


Immigration – education
How foreign students with lower grades jump the university queue
Holly Watt and Claire Newell
Daily Telegraph, 27 June 2012

Exclusive: Foreign students are being offered places at top British universities with far lower A-level grades than school pupils in this country, a Daily Telegraph investigation discloses.

The official agent in Beijing for universities in the elite Russell Group claimed that it could secure over-subscribed places for a Chinese student purporting to have scored three C grades in their A-levels - when British students are required to have at least A, A and B.

Undercover reporters were also told to tell the UK authorities that the student would be returning home immediately after graduation - even if that was not their intention – in order to secure a visa.

Universities were accused of profiteering by rejecting tens of thousands of British teenagers, currently sitting A-levels, so they can fill places with more profitable foreign students.
[Site link]


Immigration – education
Student migrant route is 'wide-open' door to Britain, ministers warned
Martin Beckford
Daily Telegraph, 13 June 2012

Studying in Britain has become the "back door" to the country for 75,000 immigrants a year and ministers are right to restrict their numbers, a pressure group says today.

Migration Watch UK agrees foreign students are valuable but says the current system is far too easily abused, as applicants are not interviewed to see if they are genuine and the Government has "not the slightest idea" how many return home after graduation.

It says the call made by the heads of 68 universities, in a recent letter published in The Daily Telegraph, for students to be taken out of migration figures would only "destroy public confidence" and wreck ministers' attempts to stem the flow of new arrivals to the country.

Contrary to the warnings of vice-chancellors that a crackdown would damage the economy, Migration Watch estimates that cutting foreign student numbers by a tenth would only affect Britain's foreign exchange earnings by 0.2 per cent. ...

Of the 492,000 students admitted to universities in England last year, 24,400 were from Europe and a further 34,000 from elsewhere in the world. Many more come to language schools and other colleges. ...

But in a new paper, Migration Watch points out that the USA, Canada and Australia – the other main destinations for foreign students – also include international students in their net migration figures.

The group adds that other countries also carry out interviews of applicants to check they are genuine, and know exactly which students leave the country after finishing their courses.

By contrast, Britain stopped questioning potential overseas students in 2008 and does not ask people departing the country if they arrived as students.

So although surveys suggest that 2 million non-EU students have arrived in Britain for at least a year over the past decade, "the Government have not the slightest idea" how many have left.

It is estimated that a fifth of foreign students stay after their courses legally while others remain illegally, particularly those from poorer countries, which could mean the population of Britain growing by some 75,000 people a year.
[Site link]


Immigration – rules
Elderly relatives of immigrants banned from claiming benefits for 5 years
Martin Beckford
Daily Telegraph, 12 June 2012

Immigrants who want elderly relatives to join them in Britain must swear they will not claim benefits for five years, under the Government's latest attempt to limit the number of overseas arrivals.

Anyone who wants to settle in the country will also have to prove they can speak English and pass a new test showing they understand its history and culture, the Home Office said.

Migrants who want their spouses to join them will face tougher investigations of to see if their relationships are genuine, to reduce the number of sham marriages, as well as a new requirement that they must earn at least £18,600.

Meanwhile foreign nationals jailed for at least 12 months are likely to be deported at the end of their sentences while those sentenced to more than four years behind bars face being kicked out even if they claim they have a "human right" to stay living with their family.

But people who live in the country illegally for more than 20 years will still be allowed to apply to settle in the country.

In total, ministers believe the new measures will cut the number of visas granted to family members by up to 18,500 a year – more than a third of the total – and so contribute to their goal of reducing net migration from 250,000 to the "tens of thousands" by 2015.

This will also ease the pressure on public services, saving the taxpayer as much as £570 million in health costs over the next decade, £530m in benefit claims and £340m in education spending. ...

The statement of intent published on Monday represents the final stage of the Coalition's review of entry routes into Britain, following proposals covering work, study, visitors and work to settlement.

The main change is the introduction of an income threshold of £18,600 – rising to £22,400 for those with one child – for anyone who wants to bring a spouse or partner into the country from outside Europe. ...

The "probationary period" before spouses can apply for settlement on the family route will be increased from two to five years to test the strength of their relationship. ...

The changes, some of which will come into force next month, will also restrict the numbers of non-European "adult dependent relatives" who can settle in Britain "in view of the significant NHS and social care costs to which these cases can give rise".

Applicants will not be able to visit this country and then apply to stay here, while uncles, aunts and cousins will not be allowed to take advantage of the family route to settlement.

"We will end the routine expectation of settlement in the UK for parents and grandparents aged 65 or over who are financially dependent on a relative here," the Home Office document said.

Elderly foreigners who want to move to Britain will have to demonstrate that their health needs can only be provided by relatives "and without recourse to public funds".
[Site link]


New immigration clampdown demands £20,000 salary for Brits to marry a foreigner
Simon Walters and Anthony Bond
Mail on Sunday, 10 June 2012

British citizens who marry foreigners will have to earn at least £20,000 a year if they want to set up their family home in the UK under a new immigration clampdown.

The planned changes mean lower-paid Britons would be forced to emigrate if they wanted to live with a loved one from overseas.

And if the foreign-born spouse had children, their British partner would have to earn £30,000 or more, depending on how many children they had.

They will also have to pass a strict new 'combined attachment test' to prove they share a genuine loyalty to Britain, not another country, and they will remain on probation for five years instead of the current two.

The proposals, to be announced by Home Secretary Theresa May, are expected to cut immigration, currently standing at 250,000 a year, by 25,000.

They are designed primarily to combat claims that some foreigners are marrying Britons to take advantage of the UK's generous welfare system.

Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show today, Mrs May said: 'I think it is important that if people are bringing people into the UK to create a family here in the UK that we say that you should be able to support yourselves and not be reliant on the state.'
[Site link]


Immigration – border security
Immigration rules 'need radical shake-up'
Daily Express, 28 May 2012

A radical series of new controls is needed if the Government's target for cutting immigration is to be achieved, a report said last night.

The think-tank MigrationWatch UK said more needed to be done to reduce annual net immigration to the "tens of thousands rather than the hundreds of thousands" David Cameron promised.

Figures from the past 10 years revealed that 300,000 immigrants from outside the European Union arrived in Britain annually but only 100,000 left.

To curb the net influx, ministers had to take a series of measures to close loopholes in the system. ...

The think-tank has called for tougher penalties for employers hiring illegal workers, a crackdown on illegal accommodation and a reduction in the length of visitor visas from six to three months.
[Site link]


Immigration – numbers
Migration to UK more than double government target
BBC, 25 May 2012

Net migration to the UK remains more than double the government's target of fewer than 100,000 people a year, according to new figures.

In the 12 months to last September, net migration - the number arriving in the UK to stay for more than a year minus those leaving for good - was 252,000.

The figures reflect a drop of just 3,000 on the previous year.

The government has pledged to cut it to "tens of thousands" by 2015 and Labour said it was "failing badly".

The figures from the Office for National Statistics show estimated long-term immigration to the UK in the year to September was 589,000, compared with 600,000 in the year to September 2010. The figure has remained at a similar level since 2004.

Estimated long-term emigration from the country over the same 12 months was 338,000, compared with 345,000 for the year before.

The number of National Insurance numbers allocated to non-UK nationals in the year to December 2011 was 671,000, a rise of 1% compared with 2010.

The most common reason for people coming to the UK is to study, as in previous years. This accounted for 250,000 of the arrivals, up slightly from 245,000 in the year to September 2010.
[Site link]


Immigration – public opinion
What do we want? A green and pleasant land, with fewer immigrants
Peter Kellner
Prospect, 24 May 2012

The typical Briton loves our countryside, National Health Service and David Attenborough, but thinks immigrants, welfare scroungers and yobs are letting Britain down.

Overall, YouGov's latest survey for Prospect suggests that we are preparing for the Queen's diamond jubilee celebrations in a nervous, small-c conservative mood. ... When people are asked to pick the best features of Britain today, three of their top four are our countryside, history and monarchy. The fourth, the NHS, is of course a more recent invention; ...


... We yearn for more rewards for hard work, fewer immigrants and more honest politicians, journalists and police officers. If there is a British dream, it is less about marching confidently towards Churchill's sunlit uplands than clambering out of the hole we fear we are in.
[Site link]


Immigration – illegal immigrants
Government database flooded with tip-offs over illegal immigrants
Daily Telegraph, 17 May 2012

A new government database is being flooded with thousands of complaints about illegal immigrants, raising concerns over the true scale of foreigners living unlawfully in Britain.

Although it has not yet been publicly launched, the National Allegations Database is already receiving tip-offs at the rate of one every six seconds.

The deluge of claims – the equivalent of 100,000 allegations every year – suggests there are far more illegal immigrants in the country than is estimated.

Immigration officers in charge of the system believe the majority of the intelligence passed to them is genuine, leading to 900 separate raids and 700 arrests in only a few months.

The database, which is expected to be launched within a few months, will store intelligence offered by members of the public and employers.

Some 25,600 allegations – around 230 every day – were received and passed on to the database between mid-December and the end of March this year.

Around 16,000 contained enough information to be sent to immigration teams to carry out full investigations.

Those marked as high priority cases include tip-offs relating to terrorism, firearms, weapons, sexual offences, drugs and child-trafficking.

Campaigners welcomed the introduction of the database, which was revealed in a letter to MPs by the chief executive of the UK Border Agency (UKBA).

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch, told the Daily Mail: "This is an astonishing response from the public to an invitation that the Government has barely mentioned.

"It is a pointer to the massive number of illegal migrants in Britain."

Rob Whiteman, chief executive of the UKBA, said that 900 "allegation based enforcement visits" had taken place so far – 700 of which were illegal working operations.

He added: "As a result of these enforcement visits, approximately 700 individuals have been arrested for a variety of offences, including illegal entry, overstaying and facilitation."

In 2005, the Home Office estimated there could be as many as 570,000 illegal immigrants in Britain.

Migrationwatch said the figure was more likely to be around 870,000 because the estimate did not include migrants' children.

The response to the database suggests the figure could be even higher.
[Site link]


Immigration – multiculturalism
Mass immigration is destroying this once great nation
Leo McKinstry
Daily Express, 17 May 2012

Mass immigration represents a brutal act of betrayal and deceit by the political class against the British people. For years our civic leaders have told us that a vast, never-ending influx of foreigners is the key to strengthening our economy and enriching our culture.

But the remorseless official propaganda about the benefits of ever greater diversity is flatly contradicted by the depressing reality we can see all around us. Instead of prosperity there is only recession and mass unemployment. Far from being enriched our society is gripped by division and fear. Our sense of national identity is obliterated, our heritage traduced.

No social revolution in our history has been more destructive than the recent change brought about by mass immigration, which has been running at an incredible rate of almost 600,000 new arrivals every year, most of them from Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. ...

... The cheerleaders for mass immigration and cultural diversity constantly tell us of the inherent superiority of newcomers to the indigenous British.

They are so much "more entrepreneurial, more innovative than the natives", according to one "sophisticated" commentator this week. In its sneering condescension such language is not only inherently racist but it is also absurdly wrong. You would never know from the way diversity maniacs talk that Britain was one of the world's greatest nations before the advent of mass immigration, victor in two world wars and pioneer of the Industrial Revolution. Or that people from migrant communities are more likely than to be unemployed, living on welfare and involved in crime than ordinary Britons.

Not that the metropolitan elite cares. Devoid of any real patriotism they like mass immigration because it lowers the costs of nannies and widens their choice of exotic restaurants. But they are not the ones who have to live with the real consequences of their revolution. ...

For people who love rather than loathe their country there is nothing more disturbing in modern Britain than the spread of sharia law, or the incidence of ethnic gangland violence, or growing fraud in our voting system perpetrated by so-called "community leaders" or the destruction of free speech to avoid giving "offence" to minorities.

In the gentle, well-ordered Britain that once existed there was no room for honour killings or forced marriages or female genital mutilation, all savage customs that have been imported into our midst.


Immigration – numbers, politics
Ministers 'playing immigration numbers game' by including students
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 14 May 2012

Ministers have included overseas students in the government's net migration count because they are more interested in playing the numbers game than with long-term migration, a leading thinktank has claimed.

The Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) report says the refusal to exclude international students from the government's drive to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands is damaging British education and putting at risk £4bn to £6bn a year in benefits to the UK economy.

The IPPR researchers Matt Cavanagh and Alex Glennie say only the 15% of overseas students who stay on to work permanently in Britain should be counted within the net migration figures, which measure the long-term flow of migrants in and out of Britain.

Home Office ministers have introduced a wide range of curbs on the 400,000 overseas students who come to Britain each year to study as part of their drive to reduce annual net migration from its current level of 240,000 a year to below 100,000 by the time of the 2015 general election.

Ministers have turned down demands from Universities UK and the National Union of Students to exclude overseas students from the long-term net migration figures, arguing they are simply complying with international standards laid down by the International Labour Organisation.

But the IPPR reports that the UK's main competitors in the overseas student market – the US, Canada and Australia – make clear they are only included in the immigration figures as temporary or "non-immigrant" admissions.

"The decisive reason why the UK government is sticking with the current method of measuring student migration flows is not a genuine concern with long-term net migration but a desire to 'game' its own net migration target by banking large apparent reductions in 2013 and 2014 which reflect the limitations of the current method of measurement rather than real changes in long-term net migration trends," concludes the report.

It says that while it is true there has been abuse of student visas, cutting down on abuse and cutting down on numbers are fundamentally different objectives.
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Immigration – UK, European Union
Britain faces fine from Brussels over immigration restrictions
Martin Beckford
Daily Telegraph, 27 April 2012

Britain has been threatened with legal action and a fine from Brussels over claims that restrictions on immigration break European law.

The Government has been told it has just two months to comply with all of the Free Movement Directive or it will be taken to court.

It is facing claims that it has failed to implement four highly technical aspects of the legislation on the rights of EU citizens to live and work anywhere on the continent.

"As one of the EU's larger member states, the UK is home to around 2 million citizens from other EU countries. It is therefore important that UK laws respect their rights," said the European Commission, executive arm of the EU. ...

Under the 2004 Free Movement Directive, which Brussels says should have been implemented fully by 2006, citizens of the 27-nation bloc enjoy the right "to freely travel, live and work anywhere in the European Union".

It also guarantees certain rights to non-European relatives of EU citizens, but it is claimed that Britain is denying them.

Family members of EU citizens are supposed to be able to travel with them around the continent without needing a visa, but "the UK laws do not grant this important right which lies at the heart of free movement".

In addition, the EC says Britain should consider granting residency rights to people who are extended family members of EU citizens. ...

Finally, Romanian and Bulgarian workers should be given the same residency documents as other EU citizens during their first 12 months in Britain, it is claimed.
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Immigration – emigration, public opinion, world
10 million Indians wish to migrate to US: Gallup poll
The Times of India, 25 April 2012

Around 13 percent of the world's adults – or over 640 million people – would like to emigrate with roughly 150 million, including ten million Indians wishing to settle in America.

So suggests a new Gallup survey giving the US an undisputed title as the globe's most desired destination for would-be migrants since Gallup began tracking patterns in 2007.

Would-be migrants who express desires to relocate to the US most likely come from populous nations such as China (22 million), India (10 million), Brazil (7 million), Nigeria (15 million) or Bangladesh (8 million).

In addition to the almost 1 in 30 adults globally who would like to permanently settle in the US, vast numbers are attracted to the UK (45 million), to Canada (42 million), to France (32 million), and to Saudi Arabia (31 million).

Despite large numbers of people in China, Nigeria, and India who want to migrate permanently to the US, these countries are not necessarily the places where the US is the most desired destination.

Potential migrants aspire to move to countries all over the world for the simple reason that they are in search of opportunity, Gallup said.

Opportunity could mean the chance to join family members who are already in other countries, to start a new business, to express one's views without fear, or to live where children are treated with respect.

The reason the US is such a highly desired destination for potential migrants, in addition to being the land of opportunity, could be that many Americans are accepting of migrants in their communities, Gallup said.'s latest figures on adults' aspirations to move to other nations are based on a rolling median of surveys, using the responses of 452,199 adults in 151 nations between 2009 - 2011. The 151 nations represent over 97 percent of the globe's adult population.
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Immigration boom under Labour changed face of Britain faster than any major country except Italy, Oxford experts reveal
Julian Gavaghan
Daily Mail, 19 April 2012

The immigration boom under Labour led to the face of Britain changing faster than any major nation except Italy, a study by an Oxford University think tank revealed.

During the five-year peak of the influx, the UK's migrant population soared by 22 per cent – double the average of G8 countries, figures from the Migration Observatory show.

Over the past two decades, Britain's foreign-born population has increased from 3.8 million - or 7 per cent of the total population - in 1993 to almost 7 million, or 12 per cent per cent in 2010.

During the same period, the number of foreign-born residents without British citizenship doubled from just under two million (4 per cent of the population) to over four million (7 per cent).

Net-migration - the number arrivals minus those leaving - increased from 564,000 during the five years from 1996-2000, to 923,000 in 2001-2005 and 1,044,000 during 2006-2010.

In 2010, net-migration reached 252,000, its highest level for a single calendar year on record.

But it is the period between 2000 and 2005 - a period of an open border policy during and rapid expansion of the EU - that immigration really spiked.
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Immigration – politics
Will no one take control of our borders again?
Leo McKinstry
Daily Express, 12 April 2012

The Government's continuing unwillingness to uphold the integrity of our borders is a spectacular dereliction of duty.

It is a failure that represents a systematic betrayal of the British people. More than 70 years ago, on the eve of the Battle of Britain, Winston Churchill roused the nation to defend itself against the imminent German assault. "We will fight them on the beaches," he declared.

Today that mood of patriotism has evaporated from the political elite. In place of the robust instinct for self-preservation there is now institutionalised chaos as the mass immigration rate reaches 600,000 arrivals per year, effective border checks are abandoned, bogus colleges operate with impunity, visas are dished out like confetti and serious foreign criminals are not deported.

This disaster has arisen through a cocktail of political ideology, ministerial feebleness, European meddling and judicial obstruction. ... ...

We now have a vast professional industry made up of lawyers and largely paid for by legal aid that depends for its existence on dragging out cases and mounting spurious challenges. In 2010/11 no less than £108 million of public money was spent on asylum and immigration appeals.

Ultimately, however, the politicians are to blame. They could have upheld our borders if they had wanted. After all they managed to ban smoking in all public places, push up taxes and launch three overseas wars. But they are so obsessed with the fashionable doctrine of multi-cultural diversity, so fixated with parading their anti-racist credentials that they have lost all sight of the needs of our country.
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Immigration – politics
Ministers plan major immigration crackdown
Patrick Hennessy
Sunday Telegraph, 25 March 2012

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, is planning a major immigration crackdown on tens of thousands of people who "abuse" family visas to settle in Britain, according to a leaked cabinet letter.

The letter from Mrs May to Nick Clegg, which has been seen by The Sunday Telegraph, proposes a tough new minimum income of ú25,700 a year for anyone seeking to bring a spouse, partner or dependant to the UK from outside the European Union from June - almost double the current threshold of ú13,700.

The minimum income would rise dramatically - up to ú62,600 - if children are also brought in.

Mrs May also wants a longer probationary period of five years before spouses and partners can apply to live permanently in Britain, and a higher level of English to be required.

The proposals could cut the number of immigrants allowed in by 15,000 a year - a significant step towards the Government's aim of reducing "net" migration to 100,000 people each year. ...

The Home Secretary tells Mr Clegg that outline plans for a reduction in numbers who come to Britain through the "family route" won "broad public support" in the coalition's consultation last year.

In 2010, some 48,900 visas were issued under this category. The majority of those who come to settle in Britain using this method are women from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. ...

Liberal Democrats take a much "softer" line on immigration - and a key plank of their manifesto at the 2010 general election was an amnesty for all illegal immigrants already in Britain.
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Immigration to Britain is greater than at any time in history. We must pull up the drawbridge before it is too late
Sir Andrew Green
Daily Mail, 9 March 2012

Migration Watch has this week published a short paper summarising some of the key facts about the impact of immigration on our population, jobs, housing and education. We hope that it will be helpful to those who are following the debate as the government struggles to bring immigration under control.

Amid the welter of detail on immigration, it is vital to keep three points firmly in mind.

The first is that immigration on the present scale is an entirely new phenomenon in Britain's history. Talk of Britain being 'a nation of immigrants' is simply a fallacy promoted by the immigration lobby. In fact, we are one of the most stable societies in the world. ...

Indeed, there have been only two numerically significant migrations to England since the Norman invasion in 1066. The first was the Huguenot migration in the 16th and 17th centuries and the second was the Jewish migration of the 19th and 20th centuries. Neither amounted to more than a tiny percentage of the population at the time and both were spread over a period of fifty years or more.

For many years, there was a net outflow to North America and to the Empire. Indeed, there was virtually no net immigration to the UK until the mid 1990s. It is only in the last dozen years or so that net immigration has shot up five fold from about 50,000 a year to 250,000 in 2010. If this is allowed to continue, it will drive the population of the UK to 70 million in just 16 years time. That means roughly an extra 5 million due to immigration – equivalent to building a city the size of Birmingham every three years just for new immigrants.

No wonder there was such a huge public response to our petition 'No to 70 million' on the Downing Street website. We got to 100,000 within a week.

Secondly, there can be no doubt that all this is the result of deliberate Labour policy. It is impossible to admit 3.5 million people in twelve years just by mistake. This was confirmed in an article in the Evening Standard in October 2009 by a former speech writer for Blair, Straw and Blunkett. He revealed that mass immigration 'didn't just happen; the deliberate policy of Ministers from late 2000 until February 2008 was to open up the UK to mass immigration'. He added that there was 'a driving political purpose; that mass immigration was the way that the government was going to make the UK multicultural'.

Lastly, the scale of this immigration will bite everywhere – on maternity services, primary schools, housing and the health service. We are only just beginning to see those effects.
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Two-thirds cut in migrant workers staying permanently under minimum salary plans
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 27 February 2012

The number of migrant workers allowed to stay permanently in the UK will be cut by two-thirds under moves to introduce a minimum salary for settlement rights.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, will announce new rules this week meaning migrants working in the UK must earn at least £35,000 a year if they want to stay longer than five years.

The Government's immigration advisers have predicted the policy will see the number of foreign workers granted settlement each year drop from 60,000 to 20,000.

The Home Office is also planning to make it harder for nannies and other domestic workers from outside the EU to stay in the UK long term. ...

Currently, migrants from outside the EU who work legitimately in the UK for five years are eligible to apply for settlement, meaning they can live here permanently and later apply for British citizenship. ...

Under the proposals, in future only those earning £35,000 or more will be eligible for settlement after five years.
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Net migration rose in Coalition's first year despite pledge to cut it
Martin Beckford
Daily Telegraph, 24 February 2012

Net migration rose in the first year following the election despite the Government's pledge to cut the figure significantly.

Official figures show that the number of people coming to live in Britain for more than a year, minus those who moved abroad, stood at 250,000 in the year to June 2011. This represents a rise on the figure of 235,000 for the year to June 2010, just after the Coalition came to power.

Fewer people are emigrating while increasing numbers continue to settle here, in particular students from Commonwealth countries in Africa and on the Indian subcontinent.

The number of National Insurance numbers given to foreign-born workers rose by 11 per cent, which is likely to fuel fears that immigration is worsening unemployment figures.

Meanwhile the number of asylum seekers from troubled countries including Libya and Iran rose by 11 per cent and the number of people being deported fell sharply. ...

The Office for National Statistics data show long-term immigration – people who move abroad for at least 12 months – in the year to June 2011 was 593,000, up slightly from 582,000 a year before.

At the same time, long-term emigration fell marginally to 343,000.

Immigration from "New Commonwealth" countries in Asia and Africa reached a record 170,000, with two-thirds of them coming to Britain to study.

In addition, 690,000 National Insurance numbers were given to non-British nationals who wanted to work in the country, an 11 per cent rise on the previous year. About a third went to Eastern Europeans.

Asylum applications were 13 per cent higher at the end of 2011 than a year before, reaching 5,261.

Separate Home Office figures showed a 9 per cent fall in non-asylum passengers being refused entry at ports in 2011 (to 17,173) and a 13 per cent drop, to 52,526, in the number of people being deported or leaving the country voluntarily in 2011.
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Immigration – policy
Damian Green: migrants must add to quality of life in Britain
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 2 February 2012

Migrants must "add to the quality of life in Britain" if they want to live here, the Immigration Minister will say today.

Damian Green will tell newcomers they must show how they can "benefit Britain" rather than just benefit by it.

In a key speech spelling out the ground rules for a more selective immigration policy, he will redefine the "points-based system" as a "contribution-based system".

And he will attack as "unacceptable" any notion of migrants "importing economic dependency on the state".

Britain does not need more middle managers or unskilled labour and only wants the "brightest and the best" migrants, he will say. ...

But Mr Green will say it is not just about numbers and is time to also move the debate on to ask how immigration can be a positive for the country.

Speaking at the Policy Exchange in central London, he will say: "We need to know not just that the right numbers of people are coming here, but that the right people are coming here.

"People who will benefit Britain, not just those who will benefit by Britain.

"Whether you come here to work, study, or get married, we as a country are entitled to check that you will add to the quality of life in Britain." ...

Outlining the principle of selectivity, he will say: "Importing economic dependency on the state is unacceptable.

"Bringing people to this country who can play no role in the life of this country is equally unacceptable."

Instead "everyone who comes here must be selected to make a positive contribution".

Mr Green will stress policies should be about attracting the best.

"We need to know not just that the right numbers if people are coming here but that the right people are coming here." ...

While the inflow of students will be restricted, the Government will also focus on ensuring they leave at the end of their visas, "reinforcing the notion that study is for a limited period", he will say.

Families wanting to settle in the UK will also face tougher requirements and the link between "coming to work and staying on permanently" will be broken.
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Immigration – public opinion
We're proud to be British – but just a little bit anxious, too
Toby Helm
The Guardian, 7 January 2012

It is often said that it was Enoch Powell's "rivers of blood" speech in 1968 that marked the moment when politicians became wary of debating immigration. "For 40 years we have, by mutual consent, sustained a political silence on the one issue where British people most needed articulate political leadership," said Sir Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, in a 2008 speech to mark four decades since Powell's incendiary address.

The tendency to fight shy of a subject about which people feel so strongly, and on which they want solutions, is particularly evident during general election campaigns. Politicians' fears of being accused of playing the race card or indulging in "dog-whistle" politics invariably shut down discussion at the very time demand for debate is highest. Before the 2010 election, the Labour MP Frank Field noted that there were two subjects that voters really wanted to hear their politicians talk about: the economy, which turned out to be central to the campaign, and immigration, which did not. "Despite brief mentions in the manifestos, immigration is the issue that dare not speak its name," he said.

A poll by the new independent, non-partisan thinktank British Future, in conjunction with the Observer, is not just, or even mainly, about immigration. ... On immigration it seeks a new approach to help open up debate. The polling does not focus on whether people like immigrants or immigration but more on what, in practical terms, immigration means to them. It is not about "them and us", with migrants in one corner, but seeks to identify how it impacts on people's lives and schools, the restaurants they visit and the Premier League football they watch.

The overall impression is optimistic, upbeat. It highlights a nation that has many concerns about immigration but one that also sees many positives. The findings suggest that, rather than being strongly anti-immigrant, people's views towards those born outside the UK are more nuanced, more considered. Their attitudes to immigration seem to relate to the practical effects they feel it has on their lives rather than stem from kneejerk prejudice towards immigrants.

That said, the worries about the negative effect of too much immigration on life in Britain come over strongly. Some 60% more of those questioned think immigration is bad for the availability of housing than think it is good, while 56% thought it had been bad for the availability of jobs. Some 48% more people thought it had a negative effect on crime and disorder than the reverse and 25% thought it had a bad effect on schools.

Yet 60% more people say the effect has been good for the country's cuisine than think the reverse. For film and music the plus rating is 29%, for Premier League football 26%, and for entrepreneurs and new businesses 36%. ...

Perhaps surprisingly, it finds the sense of Britishness is stronger among some immigrants than the British born. The poll found that Asians in Britain have the strongest sense of "British belonging", with 70% saying they belong strongly, compared with 66% of white Britons who feel the same.
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Immigration – public opinion
What do the public really think about immigration?
Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of MigrationWatch
Conservative Home, 7 January 2012

The immigration industry is in a corner. The government are proceeding with wide-ranging reform of the immigration system supported by very strong public opinion. Special interest groups are fighting rear guard actions, often based on misrepresentation of government policy. Otherwise, there is nobody arguing against the need to reduce net immigration. Even Labour's spokesman on immigration, Chris Bryant, was obliged to admit in Parliament that "yes of course we think that immigration has been too high and that it should be lower".

Perhaps that is why some on the left are seeking to suggest that public opinion is not what it seems to be. The IPPR, the Migrants' Rights Network and others, have latched onto a paper produced by the Migration Observatory entitled "Thinking behind the numbers – understanding public opinion on immigration in Britain". And guess what... the BBC News website lapped it up too.

This paper reported the results of an opinion poll which sought the public's views on various categories of migrant and whether they should be reduced (or increased).

They found, for example, that only about one third of the public wanted the number of students reduced – no doubt for the obvious reason that most of them go home after their courses. The picture on workers was more mixed; 59% wanted restaurant staff cut back but only 31% wanted the number of highly skilled workers reduced.

No surprises there - but the paper went on to suggest that, if the government did not take these preferences into account, they would risk reducing immigration in a way that a majority of the public did not support.

This was the message that the immigration lobby and the BBC latched onto with such enthusiasm. Unfortunately for them, the survey itself bore no relation to the government's actual policies. The general approach was not described, nor were respondents asked about any of the policy measures actually proposed.

On the contrary, they were asked about a range of matters unrelated to present policies. For example, they were asked whether the number of low skilled workers admitted to Britain should be reduced or not. In fact, as the report recognised elsewhere, the only low skilled migrants admitted to Britain are from the EU over which the government has no control. Respondents were then asked whether various categories of students should be increased, reduced or kept the same. In fact, of course, the government policy is not to increase or reduce the number of students; it is to eliminate bogus students – a quite different matter.

The paper did admit, however, that "there is no question that a large majority of the public supports overall reductions to immigration levels". They found that 69% supported this but even this figure was lower than usual because the survey included Scotland and 15-17 year olds where opposition to immigration is lower.

The only valid conclusion from this paper is that the public has a shaky knowledge of the details of immigration policy – a characteristic that appears to be shared by the authors and purveyors of the report.
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Immigration – numbers, politics
Govt set to miss target on cutting immigration, warns think tank
Mary Mcconnell
Mail on Sunday, 1 January 2012

The government will not meet pledges made over immigration, a think-tank said today.

In April Prime Minister David Cameron vowed to reduce net migration - the difference between the number of people entering the UK and the number leaving - to the tens of thousands.

But the Institute for Public Policy Research predicts the figure will stand at 180,000 this year - albeit 70,000 less than its peak in 2010.

Instead, the IPPR said the best hope of fulfilling the Prime Minister's promise was for an economic downturn to make the country less attractive to migrants and drive away EU migrants already here. ...

Matt Cavanagh, the think tank's associate director for UK migration, said: 'While policy changes will start to achieve significant reductions in immigration from outside the EU, this will not be enough to put the Government on track to hit its target.'

Restrictions on immigration brought in by the Government could also be a drag on the UK economy when the demand for more workers picks up, he added.

Overall, 2012 'will be a crucial year for coalition ministers', said Mr Cavanagh.

While there was strong public support for reducing immigration, there were also 'surveys showing equally strong doubts that they will deliver this, and very mixed support at the level of detailed policies.

'By promising what it cannot deliver, the Government, far from achieving its stated aim of taking the heat out of this emotive issue, will instead feed the public's sense of disillusionment,' he said.

The IPPR predicted that the number of migrants coming to the UK from outside the EU would fall by about 10 per cent in 2012, fuelled by new restrictions on foreign students and worsening economic conditions.

The number of EU migrants coming to the UK could also fall, and the number leaving rise, as the UK's economic prospects decline relative to EU countries such as Poland, now the largest immigrant group by nationality in the UK.

But the IPPR said further curbs on skilled migrants coming to the UK, such as a higher salary threshold for those on intra-company transfers, were unlikely to reduce overall numbers by more than 10,000.

Further restrictions on family migration were also likely to have little immediate effect as they are expected to be held up by legal challenges in the courts, the report said.
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Immigration – politics
Immigration expected to fall due to UK economic downturn
Mark Townsend
The Observer, 1 January 2012

Immigration to the UK is expected to fall by tens of thousands this year with the reduction due largely to economic factors, says a report published on Sunday.

Projections by the Institute for Public Policy Research, an independent thinktank, suggest that hard economic times in Britain will lead to a reduction in EU and non-EU migrants to 180,000 from around 220,000 in 2011.

However, the forecast drop, based on figures from the Home Office and Office for National Statistics along with IPPR analysis of the economic outlook and effects of government policy, is still significantly short of the coalition's election pledge to reduce net immigration to "tens of thousands".

The continuing financial crisis, allied to the government's attempts to reduce migrant numbers coming into Britain, is calculated to prompt a fall in non-EU immigration of about 10%. Similarly, numbers of EU migrants are predicted to dwindle due to the continuing economic downturn. ...

With regard to illegal immigration, the IPPR concludes that the "coalition has failed to make any headway". The thinktank accuses the government of massaging figures that purport to show that the number of illegal migrants being removed from the UK is growing. ...

However, by failing to come close to reaching its stated election promise on reducing immigration, the IPPR warns that the government will only inflame people's disquiet over the issue. "By promising what it cannot deliver, the government, far from achieving its aim of taking the heat out of this emotive issue, will instead feed the public's sense of disillusionment," it warns.

One toxic issue is the predicted fall in the number of foreign prisoners deported from the UK. Despite forecasting inevitable media furore over the figures, along with the "generally disappointing performance on removing irregular migrants and refused asylum-seekers", the IPPR says such initiatives will be hampered by UK Border Agency spending cuts. Asylum numbers, it predicts, will hover around the 20,000 mark of recent years.
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Immigration abroad – Muslims, Russia
Central Asian migrants change the face of Moscow
Mansur Mirovalev
Yahoo! News, 30 December 2012

The old Moscow, populated largely by Slavs, is rapidly giving way to a multi-ethnic city where Muslims from Central Asia are the fastest growing sector of the population. And they are changing the face of Moscow as their numbers rise and they move up the career ladder, taking on more visible roles in society.

Muslim women wearing hijabs are a growing sight on the capital's shopping streets. Bearded men sport Muslim skullcaps and hang trinkets with Koranic verses in their cars. Many more are non-practicing Muslims who blend in with secular attire, although their darker skin, accented speech and foreign customs often provoke frowns from native Muscovites. Meanwhile, their children – some born and raised in the capital – throng kindergartens and schools.

Russia's Federal Migration Service estimates that about 9.1 million foreigners arrived in Russia to work in 2011. More than a third came from three impoverished Central Asian countries that were once part of the Soviet Union: About 2 million from Uzbekistan, 1 million from Tajikistan and more than 500,000 from Kyrgyzstan. Local experts say the number of Central Asian arrivals is at least twice as high. And hundreds of thousands of Central Asians have already acquired Russian passports and are off the migration services' radar.

The Central Asian migration has been the driving force in boosting Russia's Muslim population to more than 20 million, from some 14 million 10 years ago – a phenomenon experts call one of the most radical demographic makeovers Russia has ever seen.

"Today, we're standing on the verge of a powerful demographic explosion, a great migration period equal to the one that took place in the first centuries A.D.," said Vyacheslav Mikhailov, a former minister for ethnic issues and a presidential adviser on ethnic policies.

Muslims are expected to account for 19 percent of Russia's population by 2030, up from 14 percent of the current population of 142 million, according to the U.S. government's National Intelligence Council report on global trends published this month.

"Russia's greatest demographic challenge could well be integrating its rapidly growing ethnic Muslim population in the face of a shrinking ethnic Russian population," the report said. The changing ethnic mix "already appears to be a source of growing social tensions."

By the most conservative estimates, 2 million Muslims now live in Moscow, a city of nearly 12 million.
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Immigration abroad – France
Migrants strangle France alive
Sergei Vasilenkov
Pravda, 28 December 2012

It seems that migration policies of a leading country in Europe, France, are seriously changing. The country is no longer able to hold back the crowd of migrants, many of whom do not want to integrate into the social and economic life of their new home country. The upcoming radical changes for migrants were announced by French Interior Minister Manuel Valls.

After a meeting on the National Immigration and Integration, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced significant changes in the country's migration policy. The government will reduce financial assistance to immigrants, and this reduction will be substantial. ...

One of the main provisions of the new immigration rules in France is the reduction of unemployment benefits. ...

... Manuel Valls said that the previous immigration policy did not lead to the desired effect, and the existing outreach programs for immigrants do not work as they were expected to, therefore, the rules must be changed. If this is not done, the costs for the maintenance of migrants now paid by the French Treasury will continue to devastate the economy of France that is already suffering from the crisis caused by international factors. ...

According to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies, in the second half of 2010, France was home to over five million migrant workers, or about 8 percent of the total population. The largest number of migrants arriving in France, according to the data for 2007, was from Algeria, Morocco and Portugal. In 2011, French citizenship was granted to 66,000 people. It is getting increasingly more difficult for the government to provide financial assistance to migrants, given that many of them do not work or study. In fact, this is not surprising given the amount of aid that the government was ready to provide to its new citizens.
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Immigration abroad – France
French government cuts immigrants welfare by 83%
EU Times, 28 December 2012

It seems that migration policies of a leading country in Europe, France, are seriously changing. The country is no longer able to hold back the crowd of migrants, many of whom do not want to integrate into the social and economic life of their new home country. The upcoming radical changes for migrants were announced by French Interior Minister Manuel Valls.

After a meeting on the National Immigration and Integration, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced significant changes in the country's migration policy. The government will reduce financial assistance to immigrants, and this reduction will be substantial. Starting March 1 of next year, French immigrant benefits will be reduced by 83 percent. The amount of compensation to immigrants who voluntarily want to return home will be also reduced. If earlier the government paid 300 euros for every adult and 100 euros for every minor, in March of 2013 these amounts will be reduced to 50 and 30 euros, respectively.

One of the main provisions of the new immigration rules in France is the reduction of unemployment benefits. New rules will directly affect many of the immigrants who do not want to be of real assistance to the country and whose main goal is the existence at the expense of French taxpayers. Now immigrants who are EU citizens receive an allowance of 2,000 euros per adult and 1,000 euros per child.

Under the new policy, according to Valls, the payments will be reduced to 500 and 200 euros, respectively. Manuel Valls said that the previous immigration policy did not lead to the desired effect, and the existing outreach programs for immigrants do not work as they were expected to, therefore, the rules must be changed. If this is not done, the costs for the maintenance of migrants now paid by the French Treasury will continue to devastate the economy of France that is already suffering from the crisis caused by international factors. ...

According to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies, in the second half of 2010, France was home to over five million migrant workers, or about 8 percent of the total population. The largest number of migrants arriving in France, according to the data for 2007, was from Algeria, Morocco and Portugal. In 2011, French citizenship was granted to 66,000 people. It is getting increasingly more difficult for the government to provide financial assistance to migrants, given that many of them do not work or study. In fact, this is not surprising given the amount of aid that the government was ready to provide to its new citizens.

With a growing number of migrants, mainly from Muslim countries, France is experiencing many internal problems. They include rising unemployment and crime, and increasingly greater sums of money from the state treasury spent on support of migrants and their families, which has a detrimental effect on the economy. Finally, France is simply awash with the migrant population with an alien ideology, reluctant to accept European values and often hostile.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – South Africa
ANC mulls tough plans to curb tide of refugees
Carol Paton
BusinessDay / BDlive, 27 December 2012

The African National Congress (ANC) has once again signalled that it wants to see the country's immigration policy comprehensively reviewed, citing concerns over the abuse of the asylum-seeking system and competition for jobs between foreigners and local unemployed.

Since 1994 South Africa has adopted one of the most liberal immigration policies in the world. This, together with corruption, and poor border and immigration management, has meant that South Africa has the highest number of asylum seekers in the world and an unknown number of illegal immigrants.

But immigration policy has become ambiguous in recent years, with mixed signals coming from the department and ministry of home affairs over its future direction.

Government officials said this week that, in its national conference resolution on peace and stability adopted last week, the ANC stated that undocumented immigrants posed an economic and security threat. The party further believed that the inward flow of low-skilled labour needed to be balanced with the negative effect on employment.

The final wording of the party's resolution has not yet been made available. ... ...

The harder line on immigration was reinforced in the organisational report to the ANC conference last week.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Israel
Netanyahu ready for 'stage 2' in expelling migrants
The Jerusalem Post, 24 December 2012

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday signaled he was ready to begin repatriating African migrants, which he termed the "second stage" in the effort to clear Israel of illegal infiltrators.

"We have succeeded in blocking the entry of infiltrators from Africa to Israel," Netanyahu said at the start of a discussion he convened on the issue. "After having faced the threat of the entry of hundreds of thousands, this month, not one infiltrator entered Israel's cities."

The prime minister said that after workers complete construction of the security fence being built along Israel's southern border next month, Israel will start working to send migrants already in Israel back to their home countries. "Now we are moving on to the second stage, that of repatriating the infiltrators who are already here."

Netanyahu appointed a special representative, Hagai Hadas, to oversee the repatriation of "tens of thousands of infiltrators" to their countries of origin. There are currently an estimated 60,000 migrants residing in Israel, mostly originating from Sudan and Eritrea. Thousands of migrants are being held in detention facilities in the South, with Israel's "infiltrator law" enabling authorities to imprison without trial for up to three years anyone who has entered the country illegally. ...

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) issued a scathing attack on the government policies pertaining to African migrants earlier this month, charging that, inter alia, the State was refusing to examine asylum requests and was instead treating all migrants as illegal.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA
Illegal immigration from C. America on the rise
Juan A. Lozano
Christian Science Monitor, 21 December 2012

From October 2011 to July 31, agents apprehended more than 40,000 non-Mexican migrants, compared to about 39,000 individuals from Mexico. Most of the 40,000 were from Central America.

The number of non-Mexican migrants apprehended during the same 10-month period a year earlier was about 16,000.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Poland
Economic success makes Poland destination for immigrants
Paul Henley
BBC, 20 December 2012

Poland is Europe's least multicultural society, but could be on the cusp of becoming a destination for a new wave of migrants. ...

Venture a kilometre or two outside the historic centre of Warsaw and you do not have to look very hard to see how profoundly the capital is changing.

Bakalarska Market is a vast clothes, electrical and food retail centre run almost exclusively by non-Poles.

Music and voices from Vietnam, Bulgaria, Turkey, Nigeria, China, Ukraine and Belarus are proof of a nascent ethnic mix that would have been unimaginable until recently. ...

Eurostat figures show only 0.1% of people in Poland were born abroad, the lowest figure in the European Union. ...

Professor Krystyna Iglicka is an economist at the Lazarski School of Commerce and Law in Warsaw and advisor to the government on immigration.

"We need hard-working immigrants", she says, "eager to contribute to this nation. Ironically, we need exactly the same people you [the UK] got from us in the year 2004."

Just as western Europe got the ubiquitous "Polish plumber", she says, Poland got the Ukrainian nanny and the Belarusian builder.

And she hopes they are the front-runners of many more.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Greece
Amnesty: migrant abuse in Greece is 'humanitarian crisis'
Nikolaj Nielsen
EUobserver, 20 December 2012

The poor treatment of migrants and asylum seekers in Greece is a humanitarian disaster, says a report released on Wednesday (19 December) by Amnesty International.

"Greece's failure to respect the rights of migrants and asylum-seekers is taking on the proportions of a humanitarian crisis," said John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia programme director at Amnesty International, in a statement. ...

Greece, which is facing a profound economic crisis and a rise in xenophobia, has not demonstrated sufficient improvements on processing asylum seekers, says the report. ...

Meanwhile, racially motivated attacks against asylum seekers, irregular migrants, as well as unofficial mosques and community shops are on the rise.

The NGO says there have been 87 documented incidents between January and September 2012 but most go unreported.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – public opinion, Germany
Two thirds of Germans believe immigrants are an 'extra burden' which have caused 'serious problems' for the country
Allan Hall
Daily Mail, 19 December 2012

Two in three Germans believe immigrants have caused 'serious' problems for the country's social services and schools.

The poll - commissioned by the respected Bertelsmann Foundation think tank - shows two thirds of people say immigrants are an 'extra burden' on the country's social services system.

Two thirds of people quizzed in the survey also believe that incomers are a source of conflict with 'native' Germans and cause problems.

There is a widespread belief that in big cities like Berlin and Duesseldorf, where there are high concentrations of Turkish people, the foreign children 'hold back' natives because of their lack of German skills.

The poll comes after official figures showed immigration had leaped to its highest level in 16 years in 2011.

Almost a million people arrived in Germany, many of them from Spain and Greece as well as the new Eastern European states now in the European Union, such as Poland.

Around 163,000 Poles moved to Germany in 2011 and 41,000 Hungarians. ...

Less than half of Germans who took part in the survey were in favour of relaxing immigration rules or allowing immigrants to take dual nationality.

Pollsters Emnid said the anti immigration views were less marked in under 29s. ...

But almost 90 percent of respondents demanded that immigrants adapt to 'German culture' and seek out a 'good relationship' with the Germans they are living amongst. Fully 96 percent thought that learning German should be made mandatory. ...

The poll comes after a new research revealed that Germany's population is set to soar by 2.2 million by 2017 as immigrants from failing EU states try to take advantage of the country's stable economy.

Around 6.93 million people with only foreign citizenship lived in Germany at the end of 2011 - 177,300 more than a year earlier. Federal Statistical Office figures showed that the increase of 2.6 percent was the highest in 15 years.

Currently there are 4.3 million Muslims in Germany, making up 5.4 percent of the population. Most of these are of Turkish origin, the descendants of the 'Gastarbeiter' or guest workers who flooded to the country after WW2 to fill the manpower vacuum left by the conflict.

The vast majority, some 88 percent, of arrivals moved to Germany from other European Union countries.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – illegal immigration, USA
DHS to Create a Class of *Undocumented* Permanent Resident Aliens in 2013
David North
Center for Immigration Studies, 17 December 2012

Starting on February 1, 2013, America will have a new legal class of aliens – they will be undocumented permanent resident aliens.

This bizarre new category of immigrant was created by a notice in the December 14 Federal Register by order of United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), a part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

I discovered this startling anomaly simply by reading the fine print of the Federal Register announcement; I have seen nothing else in print about it.

These aliens will have all the rights of other legal immigrants, but they will not have the government form commonly called a green card to prove it. And it is all perfectly OK with the government. Though the term "undocumented permanent resident alien" is not mentioned as such in the publication, that is, in fact, what these aliens will be.

What USCIS has done is to announce that it will start collecting a previously authorized, but never-collected $165 fee on Department of State-cleared immigrants as they arrive in the United States on and after February 1, 2013. But unlike most government fees it is not, strictly speaking, a mandatory one. The Federal Register announcement states:

Failure to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee will not directly result in denial of admission to the United States as an immigrant or the loss of status as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence. However, USCIS will not issue a Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) to an individual who is subject to the USCIS Immigrant Fee until the individual has remitted the fee. Failure to obtain the Form I-551 will make it difficult for the individual ... to show that he or she is authorized to accept employment in the United States or to return to the United States from temporary foreign travel.

This is ridiculous. If the government is going to levy a fee on incoming immigrants and they don't pay, they simply should be stopped at the port-of-entry. But, no, DHS does not want to inconvenience any arriving immigrants by demanding payment so it has created a class of undocumented green carders.

The $165 fee (admittedly in addition to earlier ones) is a screaming bargain giving the new arrival full access to the American labor market and other valuable privileges as a legal resident of this nation.

The fee could have been collected as early as September 24, 2010, but wasn't because of a lack of coordination between the Department of State and DHS; that error has cost the U.S. Government $166,000,000 based on the government's own figures, indicating that typically 36,000 immigrants a month come from overseas, and that there was a 28-month gap between the fee's authorization and its first planned collection.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Germany
German population set to soar by 2.2m as immigrants flee southern Europe
Matthew Day
Daily Telegraph, 15 December 2012

A massive wave of immigration could hit Germany as people flee the crisis-ridden economies of southern Europe.

The German population could jump by 2.2 million people by 2017 as people make the trek from the south to Europe's post [most?] powerful economy, researchers at the Kiel Economics have concluded.

The researchers studied net migration to Germany over 50 years, and predicted that as euro-zone countries battle with their economic woes the relative strength and low unemployment rates of Germany will become an attractive lure. ...

Figures for 2012 reveal that increasing numbers of southern European migrants are already on the way, helping to hike up Germany's population by 389,000 people. Researchers estimate that in 2014 alone some 506,000 new immigrants will enter the country.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Thailand
Thailand Threatens to Deport 1 Million Illegal Migrant Workers
Daniel Schearf
Voice of America, 13 December 2012

Thailand is threatening to deport more than a million migrant workers, most of them from Burma, if they do not complete required documentation by a December 14 deadline. Rights groups say the nationality verification process, while aimed at providing legal protection, is being exploited by corrupt officials, brokers and employers to further abuse vulnerable migrants.

Thai authorities in charge of regulating migrant labor had pushed back previous deadlines for foreign workers to become documented. ...

There are an estimated 2.5 million migrant workers in Thailand. About 80 percent of them are from Burma and because of costs, corruption and porous borders, most are undocumented. ...

Thailand has sought to remedy their situation by working with neighboring countries on a nationality verification program, whereby they get temporary passports so they can easily renew work permits.

So far, about 900,000 have entered the program. But about 350,000 of those still are waiting for their documents, while more than a million either are unwilling or unable, and never started.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – population, birth rate, Russia
Vladimir Putin calls on Russian families to have three children
Tom Parfitt
Daily Telegraph, 13 December 2012

President Vladimir Putin has urged Russians to have at least three children as he said a resurgent nation should be a confident and "influential" power on the world stage. ...

Also in his speech, Mr Putin lauded recent measures to give cash payments and other benefits to mothers having a second child. Current birth rates show an average of 1.7 children are born to each Russian woman, but the president urged a huge leap in family-building.

New payments for those having a third child would begin next year, he said. "Demographers affirm that choosing to have a second child is already a potential choice in favour of a third," he added. "It's important that families make that step... I am convinced that the norm in Russia should become a family with three children."

To achieve that goal, he said, women needed to be provided with the opportunity to continue work, so that they "did not fear that having a second and third child would close the path to a career". ...

To applause, the president said there were already signs that Russia's long term demographic decline was reversing, and the population had grown by 200,000 in the first nine months of this year. "The birth rate is at last above the mortality rate," he said.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – diversity, USA
Non-whites to make up nearly 60 percent of U.S. by 2060: Census
Susan Heavey
Reuters, 13 December 2012

A surge in Hispanics and Asians is set to dramatically change the face of the United States over the next 50 years, with no one ethnic group the majority, according to U.S. figures that depict an aging nation with slower population growth.

By 2060, non-whites will make up 57 percent of the U.S. population, more than doubling from 116.2 million in 2012 to 241.3 million, according to projections by the U.S. Census Bureau released on Wednesday. Racial minorities are now 37 percent of the population, it said.

The shift will largely be fueled by minority births that continue to outpace those of whites, the agency said, based on data from the 2010 Census.

Nearly one in three U.S. residents will be Hispanic by 2060, up from one in six now, it said. The Asian population is also expected to more than double over the next five decades. ... ...

The United States has been on a steady path to greater racial diversity, and experts have predicted for years that minorities would be the "majority" before 2050. The Census Bureau on Wednesday projected that would happen in 2043.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – diversity, USA
The Meaning of Minority
Charles M. Blow
New York Times, 12 December 2012

According to census figures released Wednesday, 2043 is now the year that whites will no longer make up the majority of Americans. ...

... We as a society must begin to consider now what this change will mean for a nation mired in a majority/minority swamp of privilege, expectations, historical benefits and systematic discrimination.

The browning of America is very real and unrelenting. Our task is to find a way to move into this new Ecru Era with as much ease and grace as we can muster.

An April 2011 report from the Metropolitan Policy Program (M.P.P.) at the Brookings Institution found that all but two of the 10 largest metro areas in the country have child populations in which white children are a minority. (Boston and Philadelphia were the exceptions.) Of the remaining eight metro areas, Hispanic children are the largest demographic in six, and blacks are the largest in the other two.

As Hua Hsu, a professor at Vassar College, posited in The Atlantic in 2009: "What will the new mainstream of America look like, and what ideas or values might it rally around? What will it mean to be white after 'whiteness' no longer defines the mainstream? Will anyone mourn the end of white America? Will anyone try to preserve it?"

These are epic questions about a seismic shift in American demography. How should we consider a waning majority when their privilege of numbers gives way to what many other Americans have experienced as the minority plight? ...

..., we must ask: when will public displays of white pride become culturally acceptable? Will they forever be freighted with the weight of history – tantamount to gloating about privilege? Or should all racial and cultural pride be viewed more or less the same? ...

There will most likely be a growing rub between traditional power structures and emerging ones, much of which will be visible along racial lines but also along gender and sexual identity lines. ...

And on a worrisome note, a recent Associated Press poll showed that since Barack Obama was elected in 2008, prejudice toward blacks has increased. According to the report: "In all, 51 percent of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey. When measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, the number of Americans with anti-black sentiments jumped to 56 percent, up from 49 percent during the last presidential election. In both tests, the share of Americans expressing pro-black attitudes fell."

Furthermore, The A.P. found: "Most Americans expressed anti-Hispanic sentiments, too. In an A.P. survey done in 2011, 52 percent of non-Hispanic whites expressed anti-Hispanic attitudes. That figure rose to 57 percent in the implicit test. The survey on Hispanics had no past data for comparison."

The last thing we need is a racial and ethnic backlash in this country. Now is the time to move forward with sensitivity and respect and with a watchful eye on how we behave and what we expect as the traditional American majority becomes just another minority.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Greece
Greece moves to repeal immigrant citizenship law
Andy Dabilis
Southeast European Times, 10 December 2012

As Greece continues a sweep of illegal aliens, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is proposing to eliminate a law that grants citizenship to immigrants, many of them minors who were born in Greece, attend Greek schools and speak Greek.

With his New Democracy conservatives falling behind the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), Samaras is moving to make good on pledges before the June 17th elections to target the country's growing immigrant base.

Samaras' critics, which include his coalition partners, the PASOK Socialists and Democratic Left, complained the move is unfair. The country's highest court has questioned whether the law, approved in 2010, is constitutional, but hasn't ruled on it yet.

The law was passed under a previous PASOK administration and allows those born to immigrant parents legally living in Greece for five years to be granted citizenship provided they had studied at a Greek school for at least six years.

A 2010 census found there were 762,191 immigrants in Greece, although the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, DC, said analysts believe there are as many as 1.3 million. ...

Antonis Klapsis, head of research for the Konstandinos Karamanlis Institute for Democracy, told SETimes that while making it difficult for immigrants to become citizens seems harsh, "the situation was left to get out of control and sometimes you have to take harsh measures."
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – racism, USA
US elections: What they keep mum on
Valentin Zorin
The Voice of Russia, 8 December 2012

As the dust of the US presidential elections has settled, the time has come to analyze their results. Evidently, the main outcome of the recent ballot is that Barack Obama, who has been elected for the next four years, was backed by only half of US citizens.

... According to the final results of the US elections, 50.3% of the votes were cast in favor of the Democratic Party candidate, while about 49% voted for the Republicans. ...

Experts cite other reasons that affected what they describe as 'unsuccessful performance' of the incumbent president, who was largely helped by so-called "administrative resources". However, they keep mum on a circumstance of major importance.

Professor John Dovidio, who spent several decades studying racism in the US, writes in his recently published treatise that 80 per cent of white Americans are conscious or unconscious racists. At present, the scientist says, racism in America is mutating like a virus and is taking new forms.

These 'new forms' have nothing to do with the burning crosses of the Ku Klux Klan or extrajudicial executions under lynch law. This time, they have found new expression – white-dominated communities vote against the dark-skinned president.

Rather than dwindling down, as many would expect, racial hatred has assumed even greater proportions since President Obama took office four years ago. Former President Jimmy Carter, one of the most influential politicians, lamented recently that racism and poorly concealed Negrophobia were taking root at an alarming rate in the US.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – diversity, Germany
Germany Grapples with Diversity
Francesca Dziadek
IPS: Inter Press Service, 7 December 2012

With a persistent undercurrent of discrimination against foreigners, 'Gastarbeiter' (guest workers) and citizens of colour, despite the fact that 20 percent of its population – roughly 16 million residents – are from an immigrant background, Germany is faced with the urgent task of rethinking its ambivalence towards diversity.

Demographic forecasts suggest that 25 percent of the population under 25 years of age are of immigrant descent. This group, increasingly referred to as the 'new Germans', are demanding visibility, representation and participation in social and political life, while an older generation of immigrants is quickly losing patience with the state's inability to atone for racially motivated crimes and years of racial exclusion. ...

After the fall of the Wall in 1989, 'integration' became the rallying cry of German reunification. But as East and West Berlin collapsed into one another's arms, less visible minorities – like the Vietnamese 'boat people' in the west and contract workers in the east – found themselves facing a double hurdle, with a glass wall of access and inclusion proving tougher to dismantle than the cement one.

"I never liked the word 'integration'," Hatice Akyün, a popular German-Turkish columnist for Berlin's daily 'Der Tagesspiegel' and winner of Berlin's 2011 Integration Prize, said on public radio. "It begs the question: who is integrating who, how and why?"

In 2005, in response to concerns that an ageing population and a low birth rate threatened to skew the country's demographics, Germany revised its immigration law, stretching entry criteria to include highly skilled professionals, granting foreign graduates from local universities a year to search for work and welcoming self-employed immigrants. ...

Germany's public sector also needs to urgently address diversity within its ranks. With only 13 percent of employees from minority backgrounds, data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows that Germany is lagging behind France and the UK's 20 percent.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – population, USA
Projecting Immigration's Impact on the Size and Age Structure of the 21st Century American Population
Steven A. Camarota
Center for Immigration Studies, December 2012

Using data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, this study first recreates the Bureau's most recent population projections. We then vary the level of net immigration (the difference between those coming and those leaving) to discern its impact on the U.S. population. The findings show that immigration makes for a much larger overall population, while having only a small effect on slowing the aging of American society. ...

• If immigration continues as the Census Bureau expects, the nation's population will increase from 309 million in 2010 to 436 million in 2050 – a 127 million (41 percent) increase.

• The projected increase of 127 million is larger than the combined populations of Great Britain and France. It also exceeds the entire U.S. population in 1930.

• The Census Bureau assumes net immigration (legal and illegal) by 2050 will total 68 million. These future immigrants plus their descendants will add 96 million residents to the U.S. population, accounting for three- fourths of future population growth.

• Even if immigration is half what the Census Bureau expects, the population will still grow 79 million by 2050, with immigration accounting for 61 percent of population growth.

• Without any immigration, the U.S. population will increase by 31 million by 2050.

• Though projections past 2050 are much more speculative, if the level of immigration the Census Bureau foresees in 2050 were to continue after that date, the U.S. population would reach 618 million by 2100 – double the 2010 population. ...

• Consistent with prior research, the projections show immigration only slightly increases the working-age (18 to 65) share of the population. Assuming the Census Bureau's immigration level, 58 percent of the population will be of working-age in 2050, compared to 57 percent if there is no immigration.

• Raising the retirement age by one year would have a larger positive impact on the working-age share over the next 40 years than would the Census Bureau's total projected level of net immigration (68 million).

• While immigrants do tend to arrive relatively young and have higher fertility than natives, immigrants age just like everyone else, and the differences with natives are not large enough to fundamentally increase the share of the population who are potential workers. ...

While it has not been at the center of the nation's immigration debate, increasing the nation's total population is one of immigration's clearest and most direct effects. Supporters of low immigration point to the congestion, pollution, loss of open spaces, and restrictions on personal freedom that could result from adding large numbers to the U.S. population. Supporters of high immigration argue that population growth may create more opportunities for businesses, workers, and consumers. Based on data provided by the Census Bureau, the projections in this report show that the U.S. population will grow by nearly 127 million between 2010 and 2050. Immigrants who will arrive over the next four decades plus their descendants will account for about 96 million of this increase. The 96 million increase in new residents caused by immigration is larger than the combined populations of 33 U.S. states. It is also more than all of the population growth that occurred in the first 120 years of American history, 1790 to 1910.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – employment, Australia
Report says temporary visa holders are taking Australians' jobs, 30 November 2012

A report from an Australian university has claimed that Australia should substantially reduce the numbers of temporary work visas that it issues. The report was written by Dr Bob Birrell of the Centre for Urban and Population Research at Monash University, Melbourne.

The Australian government has raised its immigration targets considerably in recent years. It intends to grant immigration status to about 200,000 people every year to work in numerous trades and professions in towns and cities across Australia. The government is also issuing thousands of temporary work visas to workers with specialist skills particularly in the resources sector. The government believes that immigration is the key to continued Australian prosperity.

However, Dr Birrell claims that the Australian government devised its immigration strategy while under the influence of 'a boom mentality' and says that there is little evidence to support the government's contention that there is a need for more foreign workers. ...

Dr Birrell questions the Australian government's assumption that the economy was growing. He said that in 2011/12 the number of jobs in the Australian economy grew by 58,000. Over the same period, 100,000 migrants who arrived in Australia found work. At the same time, youth unemployment among young Australians actually rose by 40,000.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA
Winning Americans' trust on immigration reform
The Washington Times, 30 November 2012

Immigration has leapt to the forefront of political discussions after Latinos in key battleground states voted overwhelmingly for President Obama. The Republicans walked away with a clear message about the demographic realities of America and the future kingmaker clout of American Hispanics. This bloc will only become more influential in future elections. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, Hispanics will account for 40 percent of the growth in the eligible electorate by 2030. ...

The American people seem ready for their leaders to move on immigration reform. The 2012 Chicago Council nationwide public opinion survey found that for the first time in nearly two decades, only a minority of Americans considered illegal immigration a critical threat to U.S. vital interests. This marks a staggering 32-point decline since 1994.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Burma
Ethnic Hatred Tears Apart a Region of Myanmar
Thomas Fuller
New York Times, 30 November 2012

Violence here in Rakhine State – where clashes have left at least 167 people dead and 100,000 people homeless, most of them Muslims – has set off an exodus that some human rights groups condemn as ethnic cleansing. It is a measure of the deep intolerance that pervades the state, a strip of land along the Bay of Bengal in western Myanmar, that Buddhist religious leaders like Mr. Nyarna, who is the head of an association of young monks, are participating in the campaign to oust Muslims from the country, which only recently began a transition to democracy from authoritarian rule.

After a series of deadly rampages and arson attacks over the past five months, Buddhists are calling for Muslims who cannot prove three generations of legal residence – a large part of the nearly one million Muslims from the state – to be put into camps and sent to any country willing to take them. Hatred between Muslims and Buddhists that was kept in check during five decades of military rule has been virtually unrestrained in recent months. ...

Leaders of the Buddhist majority in the state say they feel threatened by what they say is the swelling Muslim population from high birthrates and by Islamic rituals they find offensive, like the slaughter of animals.

"We are very fearful of Islamicization," said U Oo Hla Saw, general secretary of the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party, the largest party in the state. "This is our native land; it's the land of our ancestors." ...

Divisions are so deep in Rakhine State that the communities cannot agree on what the Muslims should be called. Many Muslims call themselves Rohingya, an ethnic group that is not officially recognized in Myanmar, formerly Burma.

Small Muslim communities coexist with the Buddhist majority across Myanmar, but hatred is greatest for the Rohingya, partly because of their large numbers – at least 800,000, according to the United Nations – and their concentration in Rakhine State. ...

The Buddhist residents of Rakhine see themselves as the inheritors of the ancient Buddhist kingdom of Mrauk U. They do not consider themselves ethnically Burmese, and the government recognizes them as a separate group. Rakhine Buddhists say they feel squeezed, persecuted by the Burmese majority and threatened by the swelling Muslim minority.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Korea
'Korea needs shift in multicultural policy'
Lee Tae-hoon
The Korea Times, 26 November 2012

The number of foreign residents who have stayed in Korea for more than three months has reached more than 1.25 million, about 2.5 percent of the country's population.

Given that one in every 10 Koreans ties the knot with a foreigner and the number of children from such marriages has surpassed 20,000 per year since 2010, it has become practically impossible to define Korean society without taking them into account.

Nevertheless, Korea's immigration policy remains predominantly focused on assimilation, rather than helping new settlers maintain cultural diversity and their first language.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Hispanics, politics, USA
Texas could turn Democrat in eight years, says Julian Castro
Alex Spillius
Daily Telegraph, 23 November 2012

The Republican stronghold of Texas could turn Democratic within six to eight years thanks largely to its fast-climbing number of Hispanic voters, according to Julian Castro, a rising politician tipped as the first Latino US president.

Julian Castro, the Democratic mayor of San Antonio, told the Daily Telegraph that he was confident the Lone Star state – home of the Bush political dynasty and solidly Republican for decades – would soon be in striking distance for his party. ...

In the Nov 6 election Hispanics in Texas supported President Barack Obama by 70 per cent to 30 per cent, matching the national trend in the community, which is the quickest-growing minority in the country.

But Hispanics accounted for 25 per cent of the state's voters, up from 20 per cent in 2008. Mr Castro pointed out that between 2000 and 2010 Hispanics accounted for 65 per cent of the state's population growth.

"Texas is changing, it's at the forefront of exciting demographic change. It's not all cowboy boots any more, though that is still a big part of Texas," said Mr Castro, his feet shod in smart city slicker shoes. ...

Given that the state, the second largest by population, has 34 votes in the electoral college, a Democratic Texas would dramatically redraw the electoral map and quite possibly condemn the Republicans to years in the wilderness.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – morality, politics, USA
Our Border, Our Integrity
Charles Martel
American Thinker, 23 November 2012

If there is one primary obstacle to border security and sane immigration policy in America, it is misplaced compassion. If we're going to have a decent system of immigration, we need to have a fact-based, morally sound outlook on immigrants. Human sympathy is natural and good, and should extend to all peoples, including immigrants – legal or otherwise. Granted, we are all God's children, or all special according to whatever view you may have. But the Golden Rule has been greatly distorted in its application to the immigration debate.

... For any Christian to suggest that it is their religious "duty" to reward illegal conduct is quite a stretch.

We are a nation of laws. We are supposed to be a people who follow the law. Illegal immigrants have disregarded our border, broken our laws, and disrespected all of us by the manner in which they came to this nation. ...

Our territorial integrity is at stake in the debate over immigration. Either our border means something or it doesn't. But, of course, some in the Republican leadership don't care about the integrity of our nation's border. Our sovereignty, to pro-amnesty Republicans, is something to be bartered away in the hope that one day Hispanics will vote for Republicans. ...

... Immigrants obviously promote statist policy. Therefore, lax immigration laws guarantee that the greatest danger to our economic security will only grow worse. Comfortable conservatives are slow to recognize this: From his perch at the Wall Street Journal, Bret Stephens dismisses concerns about the economic impact of immigration, saying that immigrants only "take jobs" as "busboys and chambermaids." What Stephens's trite remark misses is that the (nonwhite) immigrant today is eligible for a vast array of programs and preferences, all of which add to the suffocating expansion of the welfare state.

The existence of the welfare state is not the only distinguishing feature of immigration today. European immigrants generally didn't carry the baggage of anti-colonial oppression fantasies, as too many immigrants do today. ...

The open borders GOP is deceiving itself about the politics of immigration as well. Just picture the election following amnesty. Would Hispanics stop depending on the government, or have less desire for the government to take care of them? Of course not. There would just be more of them voting. Republicans unsuccessfully tried to trade amnesty (for at least 2 million illegals) for votes before, in 1986. The result was that Hispanic support for the GOP dropped from 37% in 1984 to 30% in the 1988 presidential election.

The effect of a "path to citizenship" for illegals would be just as disastrous. ...

To expect a good outcome from amnesty today, when the poisonous ideology of multiculturalism is more virulent than ever, and when more immigrants than ever are relying on state largesse, is to expect something that is wildly improbable. ... ...

We have two corrupt political parties who, for different reasons, are ready to sell the country out. Instead of amnesty proposals, we should consider an immigration moratorium. In a discerning manner, exceptions could be made for highly skilled or educated immigrants. Only an immigration moratorium will prevent the political parties from playing Russian roulette with our economy and culture.
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Immigration abroad – deportation, Belgium
Belgium boots out unemployed migrants
Daily Express, 22 November 2012

Jobless foreigners are being forcibly ejected from Belgium following a public outcry at a massive surge in immigration, it was revealed yesterday.

Belgian authorities have introduced a law allowing the withdrawal of residency rights from any newcomers remaining unemployed for six months after arriving in the country.

The crackdown is being seen as a huge turnaround for the country that is home to many EU institutions and was previously seen as one of the most welcoming nations in Europe for migrants. ...

Many of the migrants being turfed out of Belgium are thought to have moved there from Spain in response to the worsening Spanish recession.

Some are understood to have originally migrated to Spain from Latin America.
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Immigration abroad – repatriation, Greece
Greece tells migrants how to return home
Economic Times [India], 22 November 2012

Greek police have printed 1.5 million leaflets in 13 languages telling migrants how to benefit from public funds to return to their home countries safely and without digging into their own pockets, a statement said on Wednesday.

The campaign, financed by the European Union, is to "raise the number of foreigners returning to their country of origin". The leaflets will set out ways of going home "safely, with dignity and without having to pay", the police statement said.

The campaign comes against a backdrop of social exclusion of immigrants and escalating racist violence in debt-stricken Greece, where several migrant groups said Tuesday they feared xenophobic killings and were considering bringing a case at the European Court of Human Rights. ...

... Greece, with a population 10.9 million, has nearly 1.5 million foreign residents, including about 600,000 without valid documents.
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Immigration abroad – residence, Spain
Foreigners offered chance to stay in Spain for £130,000
Fiona Govan
Daily Telegraph, 20 November 2012

Spain plans to offer foreigners residency permits if they buy houses worth more than 160,000 euros, in a desperate attempt to reduce the nation's glut of unsold property.

The plan, aimed principally at the Chinese and Russian markets, was announced yesterday by the secretary of state for trade, who insisted it was necessary to reduce Spain's housing stock in a stagnant market. ...

The scheme would also allow foreign buyers to move around the 25-nation Schengen zone freely, as the agreement allows holders of a residency permit of one country in the area to travel to - though not work in - any other.

It was unclear whether residency granted to property investors would be extended to spouses and children under 18. Spain also risks a backlash from other European countries if the move is seen to pave the way towards eligibility for a Spanish passport, and therefore the right to live and work in all 27 EU member states.

Although the details are yet to be agreed, the measure is expected to imitate agreements established in Portugal and Ireland earlier this year where residency papers are issued in return for property investments of 400,000 euros (£327,000) and 500,000 euros (£410,000) respectively. Hungary last month offered permanent residence to non-EU nationals if they bought at least 250,000 euros worth (£201,000) of a special issue bond.

But Spain seemed likely to undercut those offers significantly, promising residency in return for investment in properties with a minimum value of 160,000 euros (£130,000), the national average property sale price, Mr Garcia-Legaz indicated.

"It's a balanced figure," the secretary of state for trade said. "Any lower and it might create a massive demand for residence permits with housing as the excuse to get them."

The measure is designed to boost foreign investment, targeting the Chinese and Russian markets, where demand for Spanish properties has continued to grow while northern European demand has waned.
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Immigration abroad – Burma
Rohingya: Suu Kyi's comments irk Dhaka
Haroon Habib
The Hindu, 19 November 2012

Bangladesh has expressed surprise over Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's comments about Rohingyas – calling them illegal migrants from Bangladesh.

The Foreign Ministry, Dhaka, said the Rohingya Muslims had been living in Myanmar's western state of Rakhine for centuries and that they could not be Bangladeshis as the country was founded only in 1971.

During her historic visit to India, Ms. Suu Kyi had, on November 13, described the recent violence in Myanmar between Buddhists and Muslims as a "huge international tragedy", but suggested that "illegal immigration from Bangladesh" had to be stopped.
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Immigration abroad – politics, Hispanics, USA
The Big Tent is Empty
Charles Martel
American Thinker, 16 November 2012

If Republicans cave on amnesty, what will Hispanics say the next day?

The day after amnesty is passed, a common response from the Latino community will be, "Thanks suckers. We'll never forget what racists you Republicans always were. Now, where is my handout?" All of the Republicans' soaring rhetoric about the creative power of capitalism and the moral imperative to limit government – this is nothing but hot air to the hungry mouth that stands to benefit from a fatter Nanny State and the cuckold Uncle Sam. Immigrants, for whatever reason, are predisposed towards state largesse; 43 percent of immigrants who have been in the U.S. for more than 20 years are using welfare benefits. 57% of Mexican immigrants are on some form of welfare, compared with 6% of immigrants from the United Kingdom. ... Contrary to mainstream conservative wishful thinking, Hispanics do not become significantly more conservative as they move into the economic mainstream. ... Like blacks, Hispanics adopt the oppression fantasies of their indoctrination, and carry that ideology into the middle and upper class. Their racial solidarity has fused with a political ideology of liberalism, together fueling a monstrous expansion of the welfare state. These are patterns of behavior that can be observed and measured.

So, what good evidence can conservatives point to, to show that it's a good idea to welcome large numbers of lower-class immigrants? Perhaps the shambles in California is their model for America's future. The notion that "family values" will motivate Latinos to embrace conservatism is a fraud: a majority of Latinos support gay marriage. ...

... Those who suggest that our country is better off giving legal status to poorly educated, lower-class noncitizens need to consider the consequences of doing so. ...

If Asians won't vote for Republicans, why would we expect Hispanics to?

Obama's share of the Asian vote grew from 62% in 2008 to 73% in 2012. ... If Asians won't support conservatives, then there is no way on earth that Latinos will. ... ...

Minorities generally reject conservatism. Tokenism or marketing will not alter that political reality. Says one Hispanic community leader from the group La Raza, the country's largest Hispanic civil rights group: "The face of who delivers bad news does not change bad news." Republicans bring bad news because they want to reduce "government assistance programs that many Latinos rely on." Quite significantly, the group "La Raza" means "The Race," and it exists to advance the interests of Hispanic people exclusively. The Race pushes for open borders and an expanded welfare state, under a blatantly racial and ethnic banner.
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Immigration abroad – Hispanics, USA
An Awakened Giant: The Hispanic Electorate is Likely to Double by 2030
Paul Taylor, Ana Gonzalez-Barrera, Jeffrey Passel and Mark Hugo Lopez
Pew Hispanic Center, 14 November 2012

The record number of Latinos who cast ballots for president this year are the leading edge of an ascendant ethnic voting bloc that is likely to double in size within a generation, according to a Pew Hispanic Center analysis based on U.S. Census Bureau data, Election Day exit polls and a new nationwide survey of Hispanic immigrants.

The nation's 53 million Hispanics comprise 17% of the total U.S. population but just 10% of all voters this year, according to the national exit poll. To borrow a boxing metaphor, they still "punch below their weight."

However, their share of the electorate will rise quickly for several reasons. The most important is that Hispanics are by far the nation's youngest ethnic group. Their median age is 27 years – and just 18 years among native-born Hispanics – compared with 42 years for that of white non-Hispanics. In the coming decades, their share of the age-eligible electorate will rise markedly through generational replacement alone.

According to Pew Hispanic Center projections, Hispanics will account for 40% of the growth in the eligible electorate in the U.S. between now and 2030, at which time 40 million Hispanics will be eligible to vote, up from 23.7 million now.

Moreover, if Hispanics' relatively low voter participation rates and naturalization rates were to increase to the levels of other groups, the number of votes that Hispanics actually cast in future elections could double within two decades. ...

In addition to all these factors, there is the as-yet-unknowable size and impact of future immigration. About 24 million Hispanic immigrants have come to U.S. in the past four decades–in absolute numbers, the largest concentrated wave of arrivals among any ethnic or racial group in U.S. history. Some 45% arrived in the U.S. legally, and 55% arrived illegally.

Assuming Hispanic immigration continues into the future – even at the significantly reduced levels of recent years – the Hispanic electorate will expand beyond the numbers dictated by the growth among Hispanics already living in the U.S. And because immigrants tend to have more children than the native born, the demographic ripple effect of future immigration on the makeup of the electorate will be felt for generations.
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Immigration abroad – Islamism, France
French Media Ignores Protest against Radical Islam
Dale Hurd
CBN, 13 November 2012

A patriotic march for French values and culture, and against radical Islam, was virtually blacked out by France's politically correct media.

Over the weekend, protestors chanted against Islamic fascism and about the French victory over Arab invaders in 732 A.D. It was the first march of its kind in France.

A broad coalition of groups from across France came together because they feel they're losing their country to radical Islam, Sharia law, and a politically correct establishment that encourages the spread of Islam.

"Sharia law is slowly being enforced in our country and we want to march here to protest that because our government is doing nothing," one French demonstrator said.

"The French people – they want to defend their culture, their history - they are called 'fascists,'" one woman said.

"I don't think it's only a problem of France. It's a problem of Europe. It's also a problem for the U.S.A.," another protestor said. ...

France has more Muslims than any other European nation. Some believe there could be as many as 15 million Muslims in France, although the official figure is much lower.

Noted French writer Renaud Camus helped organize the march.

"What I call 'le grande remplacement,' or 'the big replacement,' the change in population, is the biggest thing to happen in French history since the 15th century," he said.

The leftist French media ignored the demonstration, seeing it as racist. But it's clear the movement to resist radical Islam is growing in France.
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Immigration abroad – USA
The slow death of white America
Tom Leonard
Daily Mail, 9 November 2012

For Republicans struggling to understand their defeat at the polls, the most chilling statistic in this week's presidential election was this: Mitt Romney won the biggest share of the white vote that any Republican White House contender ever has – and he still lost.

In an election battle that was defined as much as anything by race, Mitt Romney won the support of 59 per cent of whites, but just 27 per cent of Latinos, 26 per cent of Asian-Americans and 6 per cent of African-Americans.

Thirty years ago, being unpopular with ethnic minorities would hardly have stopped a white establishment candidate like Romney from trouncing Barack Obama. But back then, whites accounted for almost 90 per cent of voters. Now they make up just 72 per cent of the electorate, and that figure is shrinking by the year. ...

The evidence of this demographic timebomb, which is likely to alter the face and character of the U.S. far more fundamentally than any number of elections, was made plain in the summer in a new report by the U.S. Census Bureau.

It revealed that for the first time in American history, ethnic minorities now account for more than half the babies born in the U.S. ...

Thanks to the sweeping away of immigrant quotas, the immigrant population has quadrupled since 1970, with nearly 14 million entering the country between 2000 and 2010 alone. ...

Pat Buchanan told me that white Middle America feels it has been abandoned. 'They watch on cable TV as illegal aliens walk into their country and are rewarded with free healthcare and education for their kids, take jobs away from U.S. workers and carry Mexican flags while marching in American cities to demand U.S. citizenship: they sense that they are losing their country, and they are right,' he said.
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Immigration abroad – USA
Obama wins re-election
Richard S. Dunham
San Francisco Chronicle, 8 November 2012

A demographic tidal wave became a Democratic tidal wave as President Obama won a tight but decisive re-election victory Tuesday with the help of record-breaking support from Hispanic voters, massive turnout from African Americans and continuing enthusiasm from young Americans.

Although Republican nominee Mitt Romney won a larger share of the white vote than any presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan scored a landslide re-election victory in 1984, the former Massachusetts governor ended up a loser at the polls because of the racial, ethnic and generational changes that have altered the U.S. electoral landscape.

The portion of nonwhite voters in the electorate has tripled over the last four decades to 27 percent on Tuesday. The Democratic incumbent led among African Americans by 93 percent to 7 percent - the best performance by a Democrat since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

Heavy African American turnout in Philadelphia, Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Miami changed the dynamic in four battleground states. In key swing states, Romney received just 1 percent of the African American vote in Florida and 3 percent in Ohio and Virginia.

Meanwhile, Latino voters, energized by tough Republican rhetoric on immigration, voted Democratic by 69 percent to 30 percent, tipping the balance of power in a string of states including Nevada, New Mexico and Iowa.
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Immigration abroad – USA
Record number of Hispanic and Asian voters head to the polls to help Obama secure second term - as his support among whites plummets
Lydia Warren
Daily Mail, 8 November 2012

President Obama's second term in the White House was largely secured by record numbers of votes from ethnic minorities, while his popularity among whites plummeted, exit polls have revealed.

Hispanics, the fastest-growing demographic in the United States, accounted for ten per cent of all voters in the election, an increase on last year's record of nine per cent, the polls suggested.

Of these, 71 per cent voted for Obama, up from 67 per cent in 2008. In a sign Republicans are failing to win over this increasingly influential group, Romney won just 27 per cent.

A record number of Asian voters - three per cent of the electorate - also turned out, with nearly three-quarters backing Obama. He also won a staggering 93 per cent of African-American votes.

Yet while his popularity among ethnic minorities swelled, he received just 39 per cent of the white votes, down by four per cent on the last election, a drop his campaign had anticipated.

Romney secured 59 per cent of the white vote - the largest majority achieved by any presidential candidate in U.S. history who then failed to win.

With Hispanics numbering 53 million in the U.S. - about 17 per cent of the population - the results show just how key their votes are to elections, and how Republicans are failing to win them over.
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Immigration abroad – Switzerland
Swiss Ecopop group forces immigration referendum
BBC, 2 November 2012

A group of Swiss environmentalists has collected enough signatures to force a national referendum on immigration.

The Ecopop group says natural resources are under increasing pressure from overpopulation.

It wants annual population growth through immigration capped at 0.2% and a tenth of foreign aid to be used for birth control measures abroad.

Switzerland now has a population of eight million people - almost a quarter of them foreigners.

Ecopop gathered a petition with 120,700 certified signatures - easily passing the 100,000 threshold needed for a referendum on the proposed new law.

"The pressure on land, nature and the countryside is considerable, and quality of life is continuously deteriorating due to a lack of living space," said Ecopop member Philippe Roch, a former director of the Swiss environment department.

The group insists it is opposed to all forms of xenophobia and racism but says Switzerland must limit immigration to avoid urbanisation and to preserve agricultural land. ...

Correspondents say the initiative reflects growing concern in Switzerland about overcrowding. The population has risen by some 15% since 1990.

In April, the Swiss government agreed to re-impose immigration quotas on workers from central and eastern EU countries - a decision criticised by EU officials.

Until 2011, Switzerland had a quota of 2,000 residency permits per year for citizens of the so-called "A8" nations, which joined the EU in 2004.

The right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP), which blames rising rents and crowded transport on immigration, has also gathered enough signatures to force a referendum on tougher immigration quotas.
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Immigration abroad – employment, USA
Who Got Jobs During the Obama Presidency?
Steven A. Camarota and Karen Zeigler
Center for Immigration Studies, November 2012

A new analysis of government data shows that two-thirds of the net increase in employment since President Obama took office has gone to immigrant workers, primarily legal immigrants. Although the level of new immigration overall has fallen, legal immigration remains very high. While economists debate the extent to which immigrants displace natives, the new data make clear that there is no general labor shortage in the United States. This analysis calls into question the wisdom of bringing in more than a million new legal immigrants each year at a time when the employment situation remains bleak.

Among the findings of this analysis:

• Since President Obama took office, 67 percent of employment growth has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal).

• There were 1.94 million more immigrants (legal and illegal) working in the third quarter of 2012 than at the start of 2009, when the president took office. This compares to a 938,000 increase for natives over the same time period.

• Most of the immigrant growth in employment was the result of new immigration, rather than immigrants already in the country taking jobs. Some 1.6 million new immigrant workers arrived from abroad since the start of 2009 – we estimate 70 to 90 percent entered legally.

• Immigrants made employment gains across the labor market. In occupations where immigrant gains were the largest, there were 2.2 million unemployed natives.

• A large share of employment growth was going to immigrants well before President Obama took office. However, he has taken steps to increase the level of job competition from foreign-born workers:

• He offered work authorization to an estimated two million illegal immigrants who arrived in the country before age 16 – nearly 200,000 of whom have applied so far.

• When auditing employers who hire illegal workers, the administration has not detained the illegal workers as a matter of policy, allowing them to take new jobs.

• The administration called on the Supreme Court in 2010 to strike down Arizona's law requiring employers to verify the legal status of new workers. ...

... This type of comparison shows that from the first quarter of 2009 to the third quarter of 2012, most of the net increase in the number of people working went to immigrants, referred to as the foreign-born by Census Bureau. The foreign-born are persons who are not U.S. citizens at birth. It includes naturalized citizens, green card holders, guest workers, and illegal immigrants. ...

... It is unfortunate that both presidential candidates have chosen to not even discuss possible job competition between immigrants and natives.
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Immigration abroad – multiculturalism, France
Most French see Islam too influential in society: poll
Daniel Flynn
Reuters, 25 October 2012

An increasing majority of people in France believe Islam plays too influential a role in their society and almost half see Muslims as a threat to their national identity, according to a poll published on Thursday.

The survey by pollster Ifop in Le Figaro newspaper showed that 60 percent of people believed that Islam was "too important" in France in terms of its influence and visibility, up from 55 percent two years ago.

It found that 43 percent of respondents considered the presence of the Muslim community as a threat to their national identity, compared with just 17 percent who said it enriched society. Forty percent of those questioned were indifferent to the presence of Islam, Le Figaro said. ...

The survey, carried out on October 15-18 on 1,736 people, showed a growing resistance to the symbols of the Islamic faith. Some 43 percent of those questioned were opposed to more mosque building, up from 39 percent in 2010.

Sixty-three percent opposed Muslim women wearing the veil or Islamic headscarves in public, compared with 59 percent two years ago.
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Immigration abroad – politics, France
Harlem Désir, France's first black president?
Joseph Bamat
France 24, 19 October 2012

France's ruling Socialist Party has officially appointed Harlem Désir as its new leader, a move that potentially puts the former anti-racism activist on track to becoming the country's first black president.

... The vote made Désir the first black man to lead a major political party in France, placing him on a political fast track to the French presidency.

The outcome of the vote came as no surprise. Désir, 52, has served as interim party chief ever since Lille city mayor Martine Aubry stepped down in June 2011 to take part in presidential primaries. Aubry resigned from her post last month, all but naming Désir as her successor.

While there is no guarantee the Socialist Party (PS) will also pick Désir as a presidential nominee one day, recent history suggests he can now aspire to the country's top job.

French President François Hollande was the leader of the PS from 1997 to 2008, and François Mitterrand – the only other Socialist president in recent history – was party chief from 1971 to 1981. ...

The son of a black father from the French overseas department of Martinique and a white mother from Alsace, near the German border, Harlem Jean-Philippe Désir was born in Paris in 1959. ... ...

There have also been bumps in Desir's promising path to power, and if he ever makes a bid for the presidency he will have to answer for past mistakes. In 1998, he was given an 18-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay more than 4,500 euros for collecting a paycheck for a non-existent job.

He also owed the French treasury around 12,000 euros in traffic fines before Mitterrand granted him an amnesty in 1992.

Désir has also earned criticism for progressively shedding his political convictions and outspoken character to mould himself into an unquestioning subordinate of the party.

He is often further derided for his prepared statements and a lack of sincerity when answering questions by the French press, who bestowed him with the unbecoming "mealy-mouthed" award during a PS gathering in La Rochelle in August.

"You can't become the first secretary of the Socialist Party without making some sacrifices," Malek Boutih, another former president of SOS Racisme, told FRANCE 24. "If Désir said everything he thought, he would never be where he is today."
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Immigration abroad – doctors, Australia
New study finds migrant doctors get more complaints
Sunday Mail [Australia], 14 October 2012

Overseas-trained doctors are more likely than Australian-trained ones to have complaints made about them and disciplinary action taken, a new study says.

The University of Melbourne research, published in the Medical Journal of Australia's October 15 issue, found that the results differed markedly by overseas country of training.

The study found that doctors who qualified in Nigeria, Egypt, Poland, Russia, Pakistan, the Philippines and India had more complaints to medical boards than Australian-trained doctors.

The researchers analysed over 5000 complaints resolved by the medical boards in Victoria and Western Australia between 2001 and 2010.

They found that overall, overseas-trained doctors had 24 per cent higher odds of attracting complaints than Australian-trained doctors, and 41 per cent higher odds of having adverse disciplinary findings made against them.

The numbers of international medical graduates in Australian clinical practice have grown and now account for nearly 25 per cent of doctors in Australia.

The study's lead author Katie Elkin and research group leader David Studdert said high-profile cases featuring incompetent overseas-trained doctors had ignited public concerns.

But they said there had been very little hard evidence about whether the quality of care delivered by this large section of the national medical workforce was better or worse.

They found complaint rates against doctors trained in some countries were more than five times greater than complaint rates against doctors trained in other countries.
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Immigration abroad – South Africa
South Africa: Anti-migrant sentiment increasing
IRIN, 10 October 2012

Distrust of foreigners has increased in South Africa in the four years since a wave of xenophobic violence swept the country. Some 67 percent of South Africans say they do not trust foreigners at all, compared to 60 percent in 2008, survey findings released this week revealed.

The survey, by independent research project Afrobarometer and the Institute for Democracy in South Africa, found that nearly a third of the 2,400 respondents would take action to prevent migrants from moving into their neighbourhood and 36 percent would try to stop them from operating businesses. Forty-four percent were opposed to their country providing protection to asylum seekers.

Afrobarometer regularly gauges public perceptions on democracy, governance, the economy and other issues in 35 African countries. Findings relating to South Africans' views on migration were drawn from its Round 5 survey, conducted between October and November 2011. ...

Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents nevertheless felt the government had failed to manage migration effectively, with 45 percent saying foreigners should not be allowed to live in the country because they take jobs and benefits away from South Africans. Such attitudes were stronger among black and unemployed respondents.
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Immigration abroad – Republic of Ireland
One-in-nine people living in Ireland were born abroad
Fiachra O Cionnaith
Irish Examiner, 5 October 2012

One-in-nine people living in Ireland was born abroad – and despite the recession, immigration levels are continuing to grow.

A detailed analysis of last year's census figures by the CSO has revealed the changing face of Irish society – and highlighted how certain claims against migrants are unfounded.

According to the breakdown, between 2002 and Apr 2011, Ireland's immigrant population rose by 143%, a rate that includes a 30% increase since 2006.

Nine years ago, just under 6% of people in this country were born outside Ireland.

However, the latest rates show this level has since jumped to 12%, or 544,000 people out of a total 4.57m population.

The figures show 199 nationalities are represented across the country – with Polish, Latvians, Lithuanians, Slovakians, and Hungarians seeing their communities surge by over 1,000% in just under a decade.

The 122,585 Polish people in Ireland now account for this country's largest ethnic minority, relegating the 112,259 British passport holders to the third largest group for the first time. Areas like Dublin City (88,038 migrants), Fingal (49,517), and Cork county (42,886), are the most likely homes to people coming to Ireland.

However, despite the high rates in the capital and Cork, Galway City has the title of most diverse area in Ireland – with one-in-five people coming from abroad.

Despite a discriminatory belief held by some that many migrants who come to Ireland are unqualified, the CSO figures confirm one-in-three newcomers have a degree or higher qualification.

Those most likely to have these qualifications are Indian nationals (77.3%), Filipinos (64.5%), and US citizens (55.9%).

Some 268,180 migrants are working – 15.1% of this country's workforce, while 49,915 are students, 19,619 are retired British nationals, and 37,164 are looking after family homes. ...

Within the household, more than 500,000 people now speak a language other than Irish or English.

Ireland's ethnic mix is likely to continue to grow, with the CSO recording 25,198 children born in Ireland to migrants.
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Immigration abroad – USA
The Balkanization of America, Part II: A Clear and Present Danger
Peter Farmer
Family Security Matters, 5 October 2012

In present-day America, there is perhaps no better illustration of Bertold Brecht's vision of "dissolving one people and electing another" (...) than the case of illegal immigration from Mexico and Latin America into the United States.

Among the many drivers of the on-going Balkanization of the United States, none is more potent than the unchecked river of humanity flowing across our southern border.

According to recent demographic data, there are approximately 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. These data, often collected by such left-leaning organizations such as the Pew Hispanic Center and the Center for Immigration Studies, understate the extent of illegal immigration; actual figures are almost certainly higher. Some authorities place the figure in the 18-22 million range, while others place the total as high as 30 million people. ... ...

There is also a growing backlash among middle- and lower-class Americans that legislators and other elected leaders are not doing enough to solve the problems of illegal immigration. These groups have been the hardest hit by the presence of large numbers of illegal immigrants in the job market and also feel most-directly the cultural and other effects of open borders. There is a growing recognition that the political/economic/cultural elites who benefit the most from illegal immigration are also those who suffer the least from its negative consequences. This privatization of gains and socialization of costs quite naturally enrages more than a few taxpayers.

A final source of anger and resentment among certain Americans is that illegal immigration has been turned into a tool of political and economic warfare to be wielded against them. The left and the Democrats, doing their best to fulfill Bertold Brecht's vision, are doing everything in their power to import as many illegals as possible and then get them to the voting booth to vote Democrat. This is blatantly unconstitutional, criminal and treasonous matters not to them. For the GOP and the business community, illegal immigration is being used as a tool to break organized union labor and bid down wages. This, too, is lawless but no one at the Wall Street Journal seems to mind very much.

There is a growing sense that globalists within the American business community are colluding with their counterparts in the U.S. and Mexican governments to assure that the border remains open and weakly-enforced. ...

Again and again, public opinion polls conclusively show (even across party lines) that the uncontrolled border with Mexico is one of the most serious concerns of voters, but the permanent political class and their crony capitalist pals continue to ignore the issue as much as possible. ...

Adding fuel to the fire, there is a significant subset of nationalists within the Mexican government and military who are working actively to subvert U.S. border controls and immigration laws and regulations. These individuals are actively aiding the efforts of would-be "undocumented workers" to enter the United States. The Mexican government has produced audio-visual aids and written materials to assist illegal entrants into the U.S.; these materials tell immigrants how to apply fraudulently for public aid/welfare, food stamps and other government largesse; how to evade border patrols, and much more.
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Immigration abroad – politics, USA
Mitt Romney's 'illegals' rhetoric alienates Latinos
Jose Antonio Vargas
The Guardian, 3 October 2012

Here's one question – directed at Mitt Romney – that begs to be asked at Wednesday's first presidential debate in Denver, a demographically changing metropolis where more than 30% of the population is Hispanic:

"Poll after poll shows that you're way behind in attracting the support of Latinos, for whom immigration is a deeply personal issue. Latino voters are a critical voting bloc, especially in swing states such as North Carolina, Florida, and Colorado. If elected president, how will you make sure that you do not alienate the country's largest minority group?"

However substantive his response, Romney should at least refrain from calling people "illegal aliens".

Language matters, particularly regarding a combustible issue in which an action (illegal immigration) has long been conflated with a group of people ("illegals"). Actions are illegal, never people. Yet, when it comes to illegal immigration, a pejorative and dehumanizing term is casually used to inflame and isolate. "Illegal" oversimplifies and politicizes a complex issue that is wholly integrated in American life.

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, at least 17 million people are living legally in the US but belong in households with at least one undocumented immigrant. In other words, that "illegal immigrant" is a parent, a sister, or a cousin of a US citizen.

Romney is far from alone in broadly describing immigrants as "illegal" – many politicians, not to mention most in the mainstream media, including the New York Times, still use the term – but compared to President Obama, the difference is striking. In interviews, speeches, and on his campaign website, Obama almost always uses the more neutral term "undocumented immigrant".

This past summer, while announcing his plan to halt the deportation of undocumented youth and grant them a temporary reprieve via deferred action, Obama spoke of young people who are "Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper."

Contrast that with Romney who, since his first White House run five years ago, has interchangeably used "illegals", "illegal aliens", and "illegal immigrants". This is not purely semantic: Romney's choice of words and terms go in hand-in-hand with his policies. In November 2007, I sat in the press room during a CNN/YouTube Republican debate in St Petersburg, cowering in my seat when reporters spoke of "illegal immigrants" when the topic of illegal immigration came up. Publicly, I was a reporter for the Washington Post covering my first presidential campaign; privately, I was an undocumented immigrant with no valid green card who lived in fear of being found out. ...

Figures from the non-partisan research group Immigration Policy Center (IPC) provide critical context in this regard. In Colorado, Latino and Asian voters made up a combined 10% of the voters in 2008 – some 243,000 people. That total, according to IPC, exceeded the margin of victory for Obama, who won Colorado by 214,000 votes. The same goes for Florida, an eternal battleground state. The combined total of the rising Latino and Asian vote in the Sunshine State (about 1.3 million) is way beyond Obama's margin of victory there in 2008 (236,450).
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Immigration abroad – New Zealand
Migrants good for NZ - the more the merrier
Bob Jones
New Zealand Herald, 2 October 2012
["Sir Bob Jones, the property tycoon, author and former politician"]

There's an old boxing aphorism which speaks for itself, namely a hungry fighter is a good fighter. Make no mistake, those thousands of Asians - mainly Indians and Chinese, but also large numbers of Thais, Koreans, Malays and Filipinos - pouring into New Zealand are very hungry fighters indeed. The evidence confronts us daily. ...

Their behaviour is patterned. The first generation work their butts off, mostly self-employed, albeit often in menial activities. At home they drive their kids to study hard, aiming for conventional higher-income professions such as medicine and accounting.

I have boundless admiration for the courage of Asian migrants, setting out to an alien land, language and culture, so that their children will have a better life. My company provides university scholarships for humanities students (the bogus data-collecting sociology and such like "subjects" excluded). Years ago I told Auckland University I wanted the scholarships confined to migrants' children. That proved a joke for, as I said, they stick to the straight and narrow of accounting, medicine etc and thus we had no applicants. Henceforth, we'll cover these for them anyway, knowing that their third generation will branch out on their own initiative from the orthodox professions. ...

Never before in history has there been as much mass migration as today. If, in many cases, they're fleeing war-torn countries, the evidence is clear that host nations are ultimately enhanced by the contribution of different cultures, despite occasional teething problems. But most are economic migrants and we should welcome them to our welfare-sated nation. They bring with them an independent mentality and self-respect, sadly non-existent with a large section of our population.

The American expression of the melting pot is undoubtedly an important factor in that nation's success. We should copy it and woo migrants from non-traditional sources. Aside from the very welcome Asians, we're now getting heaps of Argentinians and Middle Easterners. We should also exploit Europe's woes and set up immigration offices in Greece, Spain and Italy. ...

Perhaps best of all is inter-marriage. Once only Maori spouses softened our ancestors' coarse Anglo-Saxon/Celtic features. Now it's open slather and it's indisputable that the outcome is overwhelmingly aesthetically better. Racial intermarriage is now a world-wide phenomenon, which ultimately may mean no natural blondes left.
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Immigration abroad – New Zealand
White faces will soon be a minority
Lincoln Tan
New Zealand Herald, 1 October 2012

Seven out of 10 Aucklanders comfortable with city's changing mix of ethnicities.

White Europeans could lose majority status in Auckland in the next few years as the combined population of Asians, Pacific Islanders and Maori increases, Statistics New Zealand figures indicate.

While the city's population was 76 per cent white European in 1976, projections show it will be 51 per cent in 2016, with further reductions in later years.

The forecast comes as the Herald begins a five-part series on ethnic diversity in Auckland, where about 40 per cent of the inhabitants were born overseas.

Nearly 70 per cent of Aucklanders in a Herald street poll said they were comfortable with the changing face of the city.

Massey University sociology professor Paul Spoonley, who made the Auckland population projection based on Statistics NZ figures, said it was a matter of "when" rather than "if" minority communities combined would outnumber white Europeans in Auckland.

The high rate of permanent outward migration of New Zealand citizens and the record exodus to Australia would hasten this because most of those who left were European or Maori, he said.

The social shift was also aided by the Immigration Act 1987, which radically changed migrant entry to New Zealand. Requirements were based on individual characteristics, skills and money rather than preferred source countries.

Between 1986 and 2006, the numbers born in Asia and now resident in New Zealand increased by 661 per cent, with the Chinese (899.4 per cent) and Indians (841.6 per cent) dominating growth.

Over that time the number of overseas-born Pacific people also doubled, and migrants from other countries, such as Africa, also increased.

Professor Spoonley said older age groups might struggle to come to grips with this "huge change".
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Immigration abroad – politics, USA
Obama's fantasy world on immigration
Ruben Navarrette, 28 September 2012

There was only one acceptable response from President Barack Obama when he was grilled over his immigration policies by Univision's Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas: "Lo siento" (I'm sorry).

Instead of going on the defensive and retreating into the fantasy world where he and his administration do no wrong, and where it's those dastardly Republicans who prevented him from keeping his promise to make immigration reform a top priority, Obama should have offered up a mea culpa.

The president has made a mess of things. He broke campaign promises and, more important, broke up hundreds of thousands of families by deporting parents, and placing their U.S.-born children on this side of the border in foster care so that other people could raise them.

He did all this not – as some of his supporters argue – to lay the groundwork for comprehensive immigration reform. He did it to score points with conservatives and win back independents by trying to prove that he heard their concerns about illegal immigration, and that he was tough enough to address them. And he did it to please two vital elements of the Democratic Party's base: African-Americans and organized labor, both of whom claim that illegal immigration takes jobs away from U.S. workers and keeps wages low.

But his immigration policies got away from him. He let the genie out of the bottle by doing on a federal level what Arizona has done on a state level – namely, rope thousands of local police officers into the enforcement of federal immigration law. The program, Secure Communities – which was started under the George W. Bush administration – was put it into overdrive by Obama with the goal of expanding it nationwide by 2014. By forcing local police to act as surrogates for immigration agents, the administration was able to round up and deport more than 1.5 million people. But it also eliminated police and prosecutorial discretion and ensured that people who years ago might have been left alone – for instance, victims of domestic violence – were arrested and deported.

Obama is not a bad person. But when it comes to immigration, and the pain inflicted on the Latino immigrant community in this country, he's been a bad president.

You'll never hear any contrition for this, from Obama or his surrogates. It's not in the president's DNA to accept responsibility for his excesses, mistakes or failures. Harry Truman said that the buck stopped here. Obama seems to think the buck stops down the block.

When pressed by Ramos and Salinas about his failures on immigration, Obama trotted out all the old and familiar excuses, justifications and half-truths that he and his surrogates have used for the last two years to explain away their policy of "broken promises, broken families." This included the assertions that have already been discredited, like the claim that most of those who were deported had criminal convictions. Not so.

But what really was outrageous was when Obama blamed Republicans for the fact that as president, he didn't even propose an immigration reform bill to Congress. These are the same Republicans who were in the minority for the first two years of his tenure, and couldn't have stopped immigration reform if they wanted to.

It's time to exit fantasy world. These are the realities underlying the immigration debate, even if Obama will never admit them.
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Immigration abroad – politics, demographics, USA
Can GOP survive its 'minority problem'?
Husna Haq
Christian Science Monitor, 26 September 2012

Polls show that the GOP continues to be 'the party of old, white men' – and that could be decisive in the 2012 presidential election. Demographics suggest that the party must change, and soon.

Some Republican strategists are already preparing for the worst. The numbers, frankly, are dismal. Nearly 2 of every 3 Latinos favor President Obama to Mitt Romney. Voters in the gay and lesbian community favor Mr. Obama by the same margin. Women favor the president by 51 percent to 41 percent, according to an August NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. And African-Americans? One poll suggested that Mr. Romney is being skunked: 94 percent to 0 percent.

Clearly, the GOP has a minority problem. But Republican strategists aren't just worried about November – they're worried about the Novembers after that.

If demographic trends continue to swell the country's minority population, and the GOP continues to struggle to grow its white, Protestant base, the Republican Party risks going the way of the Whigs it replaced in the 1850s. Already, some experts say, minorities are likely to swing this presidential election to Obama. And going forward, the arithmetic ... says it all: This year, for the first time, births of nonwhites outnumbered births of whites in America, putting the United States on the road to becoming a majority- minority nation in three decades, the US Census Bureau reported. For the GOP, the rubber is finally hitting the road. ...

The demographics are compelling. The country's minority population grew by 30 percent during the past decade, according to data from the 2010 Census, while the white population grew just 1 percent. In 1992, the minority vote made up 12 percent of the electorate. This year, it's expected to be 28 percent.

Racial and ethnic minorities accounted for 92 percent of the nation's growth since 2000, with most of that increase (some 56 percent) coming from Hispanics, according to the 2010 Census. Non-Hispanic whites are projected to become a minority of the population in 30 years, according to Pew Research Center projections. ...

These changes have left "the GOP ... on the wrong side of history, demographically speaking," adds Allan Lichtman, a presidential historian at American University in Washington. ...

Not that the GOP isn't trying to expand its appeal.

Its national convention in Tampa, Fla., featured a string of speeches by so-called rising stars, including Cuban-American Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Indian-American Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Cuban-American Senate nominee Ted Cruz, Haitian-American mayor and congressional nominee Mia Love, and Mexican-American New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.

But the convention floor was notably short on minority delegates – as made obvious by the Democratic convention's technicolored rainbow of an audience a week later. ... ...

... And while Romney is struggling to attract the minority vote, he's surging past Obama on the white vote – particularly the working-class white vote, where he beats Obama 59 to percent 37 percent, according to an August USA Today/Gallup poll.

"That's why Romney's hanging on," says O'Connell. "The white working-class, blue-collar voters. That is essentially his base."
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Immigration abroad – illegal immigration, USA
Tighten up: Eliminate incentives for illegal immigration. Improve detection and removal
Dan Stein
Christian Science Monitor, 24 September 2012
[Dan Stein is president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)]

Dealing with the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States is often cast as a choice between two extremes: mass amnesty or mass deportations. The former amounts to capitulation and is not desirable. The latter is not feasible, although illegal immigrants who are apprehended should be removed. Neither approach is necessary.

What is generally ignored in the debate is that mass illegal immigration can be deterred. Illegal immigrants tend to be very rational people. They come and remain here in large numbers because they believe they will benefit and that there is little chance that our laws will be enforced.

The first step must be to eliminate the biggest draw to illegal immigration: employment. Illegal immigrants and employers skirt employment prohibitions with fraudulent or stolen Social Security numbers. E-Verify, an electronic employment verification system, already exists and is highly effective, but its use is voluntary. Such a system should be made mandatory. Knowing that fraudulent documents would be flagged would discourage most illegal immigrants from even applying for jobs.

Many state and local governments sweeten the pot by providing nonessential benefits and services to illegal immigrants. Many others have legislated or de facto sanctuary policies that shield illegal immigrants from detection.

Illegal immigrants are further encouraged to come and remain by the Obama administration's enunciated policy to allow, under the guise of prosecutorial discretion, hundreds of thousands of eligible illegal immigrants to apply for deportation deferrals.

Just as illegal immigrants come and remain for rational reasons, they will leave for rational reasons. If we eliminate the incentives and increase the likelihood of detection and removal, fewer illegal immigrants will come, and more will leave on their own. Over time, the numbers will decline, while the jobs, wages, tax dollars, and security of the American people will be enhanced.
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Immigration abroad – politics, Hispanic votes, USA
Democrat: Immigration deal a lock in 2013 if Obama is reelected
Mike Lillis
The Hill, 22 September 2012

A prominent Hispanic lawmaker is predicting that President Obama and a weakened Republican Party will strike a deal on immigration next year.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez said he's received no promises from the White House that Obama would move quickly on immigration reform if reelected in November. But the Illinois Democrat said it's a lock the president would use a second term to revamp the nation's immigration laws. ...

Gutierrez predicted the results of November's elections would prove a game changer, as the sheer number of Latinos voting against Mitt Romney will force GOP leaders to support reforms for fear of alienating those voters indefinitely.

"I'm absolutely positive he's going to [prioritize immigration reform]," Gutierrez said Friday of Obama, "because the Republicans are going to take such a beating in this election that they're going to propose [their own plan]."

Romney is working hard to ensure such a beating doesn't happen, reaching out to Latino voters in a series of recent speeches, Spanish-language ads and interviews with the Hispanic press. ...

With polls showing Latinos favor Obama over Romney by a large margin, Gutierrez said GOP leaders will be likely, post-election, to heed Republicans like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), who are calling on the party to embrace immigration reform or risk losing the Latino vote for years to come.
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Immigration abroad – multiculturalism, Australia
Migrants must abandon 'ideology of hate'
Julian Drape
The Sydney Morning Herald / AAP, 19 September 2012

Billionaire businessman Frank Lowy says the response to the weekend's violent protests in Sydney proves Australia's multicultural society is both strong and mature.

But the Westfield chairman believes more must be done to ensure all Australians know that with the privilege of citizenship comes certain obligations.

Mr Lowy - who was born in Czechoslovakia and came to Australia in 1952 - on Wednesday night delivered the inaugural Australian Multicultural Council lecture in Canberra.

He praised the leadership of the Muslim community for speaking out against Saturday's demonstration.

"Our political leaders were united in their condemnation of the violence," the Westfield co-founder said. ...

Mr Lowy refused to "stumble into" a discussion of immigration policy and so-called boat people "even though I was a boat person myself".

"My personal story is not intended to be read in any way as a commentary on the contemporary challenges we face in dealing with illegal immigration," he said after telling the audience how he left Slovakia some 65 years ago.

He travelled from Prague to Marseilles and then onto a "rickety old boat" bound for Palestine.

After being intercepted by a British warship Mr Lowy was taken to an interment camp in Cyprus before, months later, he arrived ashore in Palestine.

After fighting for Israel he eventually made it to Sydney in 1952. ...

Speaking after Mr Lowy's lecture Opposition Leader Tony Abbott admitted he used to worry that multiculturalism could leave Australia "a nation of tribes".

"But I was wrong and I've changed my mind," he said.
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Immigration abroad – Greece, European Union
Illegal Immigration Emerges As New Crisis for Greece – And EU
Matina Stevis
Wall Street Journal, 15 September 2012

Greece, of course, is well-known for its role in the euro-zone crisis, with a massive debt load and sclerotic economy that threatens the single currency. But from Brussels to Oslo, government leaders are fretting about another issue that imperils the integrity of free access across an entire continent: porous Greek borders. ...

In response, government officials say they are doing the best they can under difficult circumstances. The country's new minister of public order, Nikos Dendias, says Greece takes border protection seriously, but that the influx from abroad is reaching crisis proportions. ...

Greece is part of Europe's so-called Schengen zone, which allows passport-free travel among most EU members, and some neighboring nations. Its failure to protect its border has only heightened political tensions at countries already resentful about the country's impact on the euro, and worried that their own tight job markets can't handle too many immigrants. Hugo Brady of the Centre for European Reform, a London-based think tank, says it is all just fanning a "poisonous" political atmosphere. ...

According to border-control statistics, almost 60% of Greece's illegal immigrants are from either Afghanistan or Pakistan. ... ...

Though Greece bears the brunt of the political pressure, it isn't clear the country has the biggest illegal immigration problem in Europe. Last year, some 351,000 people were in the EU illegally by overstaying their visas, more than twice the number of those who crossed into Europe without documents, according to Frontex. "The attention needs to be shifted to that too," said Mr. Brady of the Centre for European Reform. "Greece isn't the cause of illegal immigration, it's a serious patch of vulnerability." ...

Mr. Dendias, the country's public order minister, has launched a large-scale operation to arrest and deport illegal immigrants in Athens. At a news conference in August, he compared the influx to the invasion of the Dorians 4,000 years ago. "The country is being lost," he said. ... ...

At a cafe at the Alexandroupolis train station, a man who identified himself as a smuggler from Algeria, described the illegal-immigration class system. Syrians are the richest and are willing to pay €10,000 to reach Norway, Finland or Sweden for asylum. ... ...

Ms. Malmström, the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, said trafficking like this into Europe has become a €25 billion-a-year-industry, so lucrative it is hard to combat.
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Immigration abroad – illegal immigation, Canada
RCMP to raid Montreal address as part of crackdown on immigration cheats
CTV News, 11 September 2012

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced on Monday that his department has begun the process of revoking citizenship from up to 3,100 individuals, as investigators probe nearly 11,000 people suspected of lying to become citizens of Canada.

Another 5,000 permanent residents have been flagged for living outside of the country.

In a media briefing Monday morning, Kenney said the government is targeting those individuals in order "to protect the value of Canadian citizenship." ...

Investigators found that some consultants were creating fake addresses and fake receipts for their clients to assist them in obtaining permanent residency status or Canadian citizenship while they lived elsewhere.

In one case, a Montreal "consultant" even had a fake office – a door that opened to reveal a brick wall, Kenney told Power Play.

In another case, more than 300 people claimed to be living in an office above a Palestinian cultural centre in Mississauga, Ont. ...

Since the immigration fraud crackdown was launched, the minister said 600 former permanent residents have either been removed or denied admittance to Canada. Another 500 permanent residents have had their citizenship applications denied.

The fact that another 1,800 individuals abandoned the application process after coming under scrutiny is a sure sign, Kenney said, of how widespread the problem is.

"I think this is just the beginning. These investigations are going to go on for years," he said.

He also suggested that the previous Liberal government dropped the ball on immigration fraud, partly out of fear of being labelled as "politically incorrect."

"Between 1947, when the Citizenship Act came into law, and 2010, when we started this crackdown, only 70 people had their citizenship revoked for fraud," Kenney said. ...

Toronto immigration lawyer Chantal Desloges said she was surprised by the number of immigration cases under investigation because she believes there are many more.

"There's so much residency fraud, it would blow your mind," she told Power Play.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg," she said. "For some reason, there was always a lack of willpower to tackle the problem."
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Immigration abroad – India
Citizens appeal to government to send out strong message on illegal immigration from Bangladesh
The Economic Times, 10 September 2012

Against the backdrop of violence in Assam, a group of eminent citizens today termed illegal influx from Bangladesh as a "national problem" and appealed to the government to send out a strong message that such migrants will be tackled under due process.

In a statement, personalities including Jamia Millia Islamia Vice Chancellor Najib Jung, Roshmi Goswami and Harsh Mander called upon political and other groups to "reduce the rhetoric", to help Assam and the region and other parts of the country pull back from an "abyss".

"It is our view that the Centre and state governments must assert in no uncertain terms that those migrants who have illegally slipped across the Indo-Bangladesh border to any part of the country since March 25, 1971 - the agreed cut off date - will be tackled under due process or even through a system of Special Courts to speed up the process," they said. ...

The issue of illegal migration from Bangladesh remains an explosive and unresolved issue 27 years after the signing of the Assam Accord and this primarily represents a labour flow from Bangladesh, and needs also to be raised with Dhaka, they said.
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Immigration abroad – illegal immigration, Arizona, USA
Judge upholds Arizona 'show-your-papers' measure in mixed ruling
Daily Mail, 7 September 2012

A U.S. judge ruled on Wednesday that a controversial Arizona 'show-your-papers' immigration provision that has been upheld by the Supreme Court may go into effect, but in a split ruling blocked another measure making it a crime to harbor illegal immigrants.

The measure that was upheld, part of a broader law to combat illegal immigration in the state bordering Mexico, home to an estimated 360,000 undocumented immigrants, requires police to check the immigration status of people they stop and suspect are in the country illegally.

In allowing that measure to proceed, Federal District Court Judge Susan Bolton ruled the law's challengers had failed to show they were likely to prevail on the merits of the case, but noted that the top court had left open the possibility of contesting the provision 'after it goes into effect.'

In a mixed ruling, Bolton also issued a preliminary injunction blocking a part of the state law, known as SB 1070, that made it a crime to transport, shield or harbor an illegal immigrant within Arizona's borders. ...

The administration of President Barack Obama challenged Arizona's tough immigration law in court two years ago, saying the U.S. Constitution gives the federal government sole authority over immigration policy.

Opponents of the law also decried it as a mandate for the racial profiling of Hispanics, who make up nearly a third of Arizona's population of 6.5 million people. ...

The June Supreme Court ruling on upholding the controversial measure also struck down three other provisions of the law including one requiring immigrants to carry immigration papers at all times, another banning illegal immigrants from soliciting work in public places and one allowing police arrests of immigrants without warrants under some circumstances.
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Immigration abroad – diversity, USA
Diversity spreads to all corners of the U.S.
Haya El Nasser
USA Today, 7 September 2012

The number of nearly all-white communities has plummeted since 1980, dramatic evidence that the nation's growing racial and ethnic diversity has spread far beyond large metropolitan centers into smaller towns and rural parts of the heartland, new research shows.

Communities where whites are the majority are still the norm (82.6%), but those where they dominate are gradually disappearing, according to an analysis of Census data by Penn State's Population Research Institute. In 1980, about two-thirds of all places were at least 90% white. By 2010, only a third were. The number of places where no group is a majority has more than quintupled.

"This trend is pretty geographically pervasive, and even residents of small towns and rural areas are encountering diversity face to face," says Barrett Lee, Penn State sociologist and demographer and lead author of the study released today. "It's not something they just read about in the newspapers anymore."

Places that have the most balanced mix of non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics, blacks, Asians and others are most prevalent in the West and South and other traditional immigrant magnets. Large cities and their suburbs – San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; New York; Los Angeles; Houston – have the greatest share of diversity.

"It's really the kids who are driving all this," says Kenneth Johnson, demographer at the University of New Hampshire's Carsey Institute. "As population continues to age and minority child population increases, these numbers are going to go up fast." ...

Marketers have been tracking the changes through spikes in sales of ethnic food products – from soy sauce to tortillas. "Food is often an early indicator," says Jim Lucas, executive vice president for global retail insight and strategy at Draftfcb, a Chicago advertising and marketing company.

Lucas' firm, which works with Kikkoman, Kraft, Oreo, Nivea and Kmart among others, has witnessed the rising diversity outside of traditional immigrant centers.

Lee warns that diversity does not end segregation. People of all races can live in the same city but still in separate neighborhoods.

The Penn State research (, one in a series on recent trends in American society by the US2010 Project, found that California cities dominate the list of most diverse places (Oakland, Vallejo and Suisin City). ...

"Younger people who have grown up in diverse communities take this demographic profile as a given," the report says. "But older whites who have watched the 30-year increase find themselves having to adjust their notion of 'America' sometimes reluctantly."
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Immigration abroad – multiculturalism, Turks, Islam, Germany
Germany: Turkish Muslims Hope for More Muslims Than Christians
Soeren Kern
Gatestone Institute, 27 August 2012

Nearly half of all Turks living in Germany say they hope there will be more Muslims than Christians in Germany in the future, according to a new survey of Turkish-German mores and attitudes.

The study also shows that Islam is becoming an increasingly important component of the value structure of Turks in Germany, especially among the younger generation of Turkish-Germans, who hold religious views more radical than their elders' views are.

The findings have filled many Germans with a sense of foreboding and are certain to contribute to the ongoing debate ... about Muslim integration (or, rather, lack of it) in Germany.

The 103-page study, "German-Turkish Life and Values" ... jointly produced by the Berlin-based INFO polling institute and the Antalya, Turkey-based Liljeberg research firm, and was released to the public on August 17, as a follow-up to similar studies conducted in 2009 and 2010. It aims to determine just how satisfied the estimated 2.7 million Turks living in Germany are with their life there.

Of those Turks surveyed, 27% were born in Germany (77% of 15- to 29-year-olds were born in Germany) and 39% have lived in Germany for at least 30 years. Only 15% of Turks, however, consider Germany to be their home – compared to 21% in 2009, and 18% in 2010.

The survey also shows that labor migration is no longer the main reason why Turks immigrate to Germany; only one in five respondents said they had gone to Germany to look for work. Rather, the most important reason Turks gave for immigrating to Germany was to marry a partner who lived there. More than half of the Turkish women interviewed said they moved to Germany for that reason. ...

While 91% of Turks surveyed believe that Turkish-origin children need to learn German from an early age, 90% also say that children absolutely must learn Turkish. A growing number of Turks (53%) believe that German teachers of Turkish-origin children need to understand the Turkish language to be able to help children having difficulty with the German language.

In the area of hypothetical voting patterns, the vast majority (80%) of Turks surveyed say they would vote for leftwing or far-leftwing parties if they were able to vote in Germany. 50% said they would vote for the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), 26% would vote for the leftwing Green party and 5% would vote for the far-left Die Linke. Only 13% would vote for the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU).

Almost all Turks surveyed (95%) said it is absolutely necessary for them to preserve their Turkish identity; in a sign indicating that efforts at integration have a long way to go, 62% said they would rather be around Turks than around Germans (in the 2010 survey, it was 40%). Only 39% of Turks said that Germans were trustworthy.

At the same time, 87% of those surveyed said they believe that German society should make a great effort to be considerate of the customs and traditions of Turkish immigrants.

Of those Turks surveyed, 72% believe that Islam is the only true religion (in the 2010 survey, it was 69%); 18% say Jews are inferior people and 10% say Christians are inferior.

Arguably the most sobering finding of the study is that 46% of Turks say they hope that Germany will one day have more Muslims than Christians (in the 2010 survey, it was 33%).
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – deportation, USA
House Judiciary Accuses Obama of 'Cooking Books' on Immigration
Lauren Fox
U.S. News & World Report, 24 August 2012

House Judiciary says Obama has lied about number of deportations to make administration look tougher.

The House Judiciary Committee is accusing the Obama administration of "cooking the books" to achieve its record deportation numbers.

President Barack Obama's administration has earned a reputation as having one of the toughest deportation policies in recent administrations. According to one ABC News report, the administration's average number of deportations was double that of President George W. Bush during his first term.

But the House committee says it has reviewed internal U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement documents, which reveal the administration has been misleading the public.

The committee is accusing the Obama administration of adding numbers from the Alien Transfer Exit Program, a policy that relocates immigrants who cross the border illegally to another location, in its annual removal numbers.

Critics say lumping the ATEP and annual deportation numbers together misrepresents the number of ICE removals because being removed through the ATEP program doesn't result in any penalties and ATEP immigrants can attempt re-entry multiple times a year.

"This means a single illegal immigrant can show up at the border and be removed numerous times in a single year and be counted each time as a removal," says Lamar Smith, the House Judiciary Committee chairman and a Republican from Texas. "When the numbers from this border patrol program are removed from this year's deportation data, it shows that removals are actually down nearly 20 percent from 2009."

The committee says that once you remove the ATEP numbers from ICE's annual deportation numbers, this year's numbers are 100,000 fewer, 14 percent lower than 2008, not higher as the administration has claimed. ...

ICE officials are discounting the committee's claims this morning, sticking by their numbers.
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Immigration abroad – USA
Immigration agents sue to stop Obama's non-deportation policy
Stephen Dinan
Washington Times, 23 August 2012

Saying they are fed up with being told that they can't do their jobs, 10 immigration agents on Thursday sued the Obama administration to try to overturn the president's new non-deportation policy.

The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Texas, adds a legal controversy to the political fight that has been brewing over President Obama's immigration policies, which have steadily narrowed the range of immigrants whom the government is targeting for deportation.

The 10 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and deportation officers said Mr. Obama's policies force them to choose between enforcing the law and being reprimanded by superiors, or listening to superiors and violating their own oaths of office and a 1996 law that requires them to put those who entered the country illegally into deportation proceedings. ...

Last week, the Homeland Security Department began taking applications from those no older than 30 who came to the U.S. as children and who have kept at least fairly clean criminal records. They are being granted "deferred action," which is an official notice that they are not to be deported and will be granted work permits to stay and get jobs legally in the U.S. ...

In their 22-page complaint, the agents say they have been told in broad terms to stop taking action on a whole class of illegal immigrants. They said they have been instructed not to bother asking for proof, either, but to take an immigrant's word about qualifying for the president's policy.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA
Illegal immigrants could reap more than $7B in tax credits this year, senator says
Fox News, 22 August 2012

Illegal immigrants could receive more than $7 billion this year in federal tax credits, according to one estimate, thanks to a loophole in the law that allows people not authorized to work to reap the government payments with no questions asked.

Sen. Jeff Sessions' office calculated that, based on recent trends, illegal immigrants could receive roughly $7.4 billion through a provision known as the Additional Child Tax Credit. That's more than quadruple what the payout was four years ago, but the payments have been steadily increasing over the past decade.

Though illegal immigrants are prohibited from receiving similar tax credits, a quirk in the law allows them to qualify for the child tax credit. And it's a "refundable" credit, meaning recipients can reap the money – with average checks totaling about $1,800 – even if they've paid no taxes. ...

Illegal immigrants can qualify because even people not authorized to work in the U.S. are supposed to file returns with the IRS. If they don't have a Social Security number, they are provided what's known as an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number in order to file returns.

And those filers are not excluded from claiming the Additional Child Tax Credit, which is offered to some families with children under 17 years old.

A report last year by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found the claims added up to $4.2 billion in 2010. Sessions' office calculated the $7.4 billion figure based on the IG report numbers and White House budget numbers.

The IG report last year recommended that Congress pass legislation to "clarify" whether the tax credits should actually be paid to those not authorized to work in the U.S.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – repatriation, Israel
Israel kicks out migrants – by changing their nationality and sending them to another country
Maeve McClenaghan
The Independent, 18 August 2012

Sudanese asylum seekers in Israel are being issued with documents changing their nationality, allowing them to be removed from the country or imprisoned.

They have recently been issued with documents labelling them as South Sudanese – despite holding passports showing they were born in areas that remain in Sudan. ...

South Sudan came into existence only in July 2011 after a 21-year civil war. Intense hostilities remain between the newly formed country and the Republic, with conflicts regularly breaking out on the border.

Israel is unable to deport people to Sudan as it has no repatriation agreement with Khartoum. But a recent deportation order allows it to deport migrants to the country's newest neighbour, South Sudan. ...

African migrants are an issue of concern for the Israeli government. According to the ministry of foreign affairs there are approximately 60,000-65,000 illegal immigrants in the country. However, two-thirds of those come from Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan – countries which Israel cannot repatriate citizens to, due to their collective-protection status.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – India
Hundreds of thousands flee their homes in India amid deadly ethnic violence
Jim Yardley
MSNBC / New York Times, 18 August 2012

What began as an isolated communal conflict here in the remote state of Assam, a vicious if obscure fight over land and power between Muslims and the indigenous Bodo tribe, has unexpectedly set off widespread panic among northeastern migrants who had moved to more prosperous cities for a piece of India's rising affluence.

A swirl of unfounded rumors, spread by text messages and social media, had warned of attacks by Muslims against northeastern migrants, prompting the panic and the exodus. ... ...

The hysteria in several of the country's most advanced urban centers has underscored the deep roots of ethnic tensions in India, where communal conflict is usually simplified as Hindu versus Muslim, yet is often far more complex. ...

Last week, the central government started moving to stabilize Assam, where at least 78 people have been killed and more than 300,000 have fled their homes for refugee camps. ... ...

To many northeastern migrants, the impulse to rush home – despite the trouble in Assam – is a reminder of how alienated many feel from mainstream India. ...

Here in Assam, the underlying frictions are over the control of land, immigration pressures and the fight for political power. The savagery and starkness of the violence have been startling.

Of the 78 people killed, some were butchered. More than 14,000 homes have been burned. That 300,000 people are in refugee camps is remarkable; had so many people fled across sub-Saharan Africa to escape ethnic persecution, a humanitarian crisis almost certainly would have been declared. ...

Assam, which has about 31 million people, has a long history of ethnic strife.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – racism, Burma
Warnings on Burma's racist hatred
Radio Australia, 17 August 2012

A UK-based Burmese scholar has warned Burma's opposition NLD party, including democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, are implicit in the racism that's fuelling ongoing tension between Buddhists and the minority Muslim Rohingya.

Clashes this year between ethnic Buddhist Rakhine and the Rohingya in Burma's west have left more than 70 people dead.

The government has since clamped down on the Rohingya, a minority already described by the UN as one of the world's most persecuted peoples.

Dr Maung Zarni, a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics, says there is strong evidence the overwhelmingly Buddhist government is behind the campaign against the Rohingya, motivated by racism.

And he says the opposition NLD party, including Nobel peace prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi, are implicit in that racism as they campaign to win a landslide victory at the next election.

"So in other words, Suu Kyi needs to keep the Burmese majority happy, ideologically, and that requires that she stays clear of the Rohingya issue, regardless of whether it's a direct challenge to her image as a human rights champion," he said.

He's described ingrained racism within Burma's majority Buddhist society as the 'scariest' part of Burma's recent moves towards democracy.

"The Burmese democratic transition is bringing about not necessarily concrete and irreversible democratisation process but the most ugly racism the world is witnessing," Dr Maung Zarni said.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – racism, India
Exodus to India's Northeast Continues for a Third Day
Vikas Bajaj
New York Times / International Herald Tribune, 17 August 2012

Indian leaders appealed for calm on Friday as natives of northeastern India now living in southern cities left in droves for a third day over fears that violence in the northeastern state of Assam would spread south.

Starting Wednesday night, thousands of northeast natives who had migrated to the south – especially those from Assam – began heading to train stations in Bangalore, Chennai and Pune. Many had received text messages warning them that they would be targeted for revenge by Muslim groups angry about the situation in Assam, where fighting between the mostly Hindu Bodo tribe and Muslims has displaced more than 300,000 people. ... ...

Many young people from India's seven northeastern states, where literacy rates are often higher but job opportunities fewer than in cities like Bangalore, often move to study and work. While restaurants, airlines and other service businesses frequently seek to recruit them because of their English-language skills, many northeast natives suffer insults and prejudice because many of them have facial features more common in East Asia and because many are not native speakers of Hindi or south Indian languages.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – racism, USA
95% of last year's 882 NYPD school arrests involved minorities
Rachel Monahan
New York Daily News, 17 August 2012

Black and Latino students were collared in 95% of the 882 total arrests in city schools last year, while blacks and Latinos make up about 71% of the city's student body of about a million pupils.

NYPD school safety officers were ticketing or arresting students last school year at an average clip of eleven pupils per day, data released Tuesday revealed.

Black and Latino students were collared in 95% of the 882 total arrests, while blacks and Latinos make up about 71% of the city's student body of about a million pupils.

The NYPD data, released to the City Council under a law passed last year, revealed that 1,666 tickets were also issued during the school year.

Nearly three-quarters of the students arrested were male.

"If the Bloomberg administration is serious about helping young men of color succeed, then it must address these disparities and focus more resources on educating children, not arresting them," argued Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

Top NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said Lieberman was ignoring the circumstances of the complaints that prompted the arrests.

"The NYCLU's kneejerk reaction to claim racism is as old as it is false," he said. "It knows better than to compare arrests against population instead of description of suspects provided by victims."
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – France
French city of Amiens rocked by riots
Angelique Chrisafis
The Guardian, 15 August 2012

Violent clashes between youths and riot police in the northern French city of Amiens saw 17 officers injured and several public buildings set on fire in some of the worst rioting in the area for years – reopening the political debate about France's troubled housing estates.

Rioting broke out on deprived estates in the north of the city at 9pm on Monday and continued until 4am. About 100 youths set fire to cars, a nursery school and a youth centre as well as firing buckshot and throwing projectiles at police officers, who filled the streets with teargas as reinforcements arrived from neighbouring areas.

"The confrontations were very, very violent," the mayor of Amiens, Gilles Dumailly, told French television network BFM, describing "a scene of devastation". One officer was in a serious condition, Dumailly said.

There had been unrest among youths on housing estates in Amiens-Nord earlier this month and again on Sunday night, apparently triggered by resentment over spot checks by police on residents. ...

Public buildings including a nursery school and sports centre were destroyed by fire, causing an estimated €1m (£800,000) in damage.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Australia
Solution, or racism? Australia approves offshore Pacific asylum camps
RT, 15 August 2012

The Australian govt approved a bill to transfer asylum-seekers to offshore processing centers in a bid to curtail undocumented immigration. Critics branded the bill as racist, and a grave violation of the country's human rights obligations.

The legislation, pushed through by MPs in the Australian parliament's lower house, aims to open asylum detention centers on Papua New Guinea and the Pacific island of Nauru.

The measures are geared to curbing human trafficking and promote legal immigration, the government said. According to the new bill, asylum-seekers caught making the perilous journey to Australia by boat will be intercepted and taken to the Pacific island camps for processing. ...

Former Australian Prime Minister Malcom Fraser dismissed the proposal as "racist," saying it would punish the most vulnerable. ...

The parliamentary vote came in the wake of a report commissioned by current Australian PM Gillard, which researched the recent spike in undocumented immigrants traveling to Australia from Indonesia by boat.

... More than 50 boats carrying over 4,000 asylum-seekers have been detected by officials this year, Reuters reported.

The new legislation resurrects the 'Pacific Solution' initiative first proposed by former PM John Howard's government in 2001. Under the plan, immigrants would be dispatched to detention centers on Pacific islands by the Australian Navy, where they were then held for months under high security.

The program was eventually scrapped in 2008 in the face of considerable criticism from NGOs, who condemned the Australian government for failing to meet its pledges under human rights conventions.

Former PM Fraser hoped that the new legislation would be challenged in the High Court, he said. ...

The bill is expected to pass through the Australian Senate on Thursday with little opposition.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA
GOP: Obama's immigration plan will be among the 'most fraud-ridden' in history
Pete Kasperowicz
The Hill, 15 August 2012

The top Republicans on the House and Senate Judiciary committees warned this week that President Obama's plan to delay the deportation of illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children will end up being one of the most fraud-ridden programs in the history of U.S. immigration programs.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) were reacting to an Aug. 3 announcement from the Department of Homeland Security, which outlined how DHS will accept applications for deferred deportation action.

That announcement said illegal immigrants will be able to apply for deferred action and U.S. work authorization if they can show they are in or have been in school, or have any military service. DHS is setting up these guidelines in anticipation of implementing the policy starting Aug. 15.

But in a Monday letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, Smith and Grassley said there do not appear to be any anti-fraud provisions in place. ...

Their letter cited immigration fraud in a program that granted amnesty to Special Agricultural Workers, the so-called SAW program. They said this program led to significant fraud, as about two-thirds of those amnesty applications were fraudulent.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – India
'Presence of outsiders in NE an issue'
Josy Joseph
The Times of India, 14 August 2012

Even as the repercussions of anti-migrant violence in lower Assam are being felt far beyond the state's borders, another Congress chief minister from the northeast has expressed concern over illegal immigration from Bangladesh.

Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma said there was a need for a more holistic effort to address the issue of outsiders in the northeast. He called for a new mechanism for identifying illegal immigrants and a robust border management system. ...

The issue of illegal immigrants and presence of Indians from other parts in north-east are issues not just limited to Assam, but was a concern for other states too, he said.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – crime, repatriation, USA
Rep. Ted Poe Sounds Alarm After Murders by Illegals Who Were Blocked From Deportation by Home Countries
Jason Howerton
The Blaze, 14 August 2012

Due to a very questionable U.S. policy, thousands of criminal aliens from countries like Pakistan, Cuba, Mexico, China and Vietnam remain free to commit additional crimes because their home nations won't take them back, Fox News reports.

Based on a 2001 Supreme Court decision, U.S. immigration officials are only allowed to hold someone for six months after their incarceration. If the immigrant's home country refuses to take back their national, the U.S. is required to let them walk – no matter what crime they have committed.

While some lawmakers are attempting to correct the problem by punishing nations that won't take back their own criminals, the Obama administration and several Democrats in Congress are blocking punitive legislation, advocating that the State Department handle the issue through diplomatic measures.

Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) wants to change the law to include the withholding of visas to countries that refuse to take back their nationals. ...

More than 50,000 criminal illegal aliens ordered deported remain in the U.S.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – France
France declares war on illegal migrants: Riot police smash camps and hundreds rounded up for deportation as Socialists take on gipsies
Peter Allen
Daily Mail, 10 August 2012

French police were yesterday breaking up gipsy camps and deporting illegal immigrants found in them.

Dozens of officers in riot gear descended on a settlement near Lille shortly after dawn to oversee the evacuation of some 200 Roma living in mobile homes.

One hundred people were evicted from a site in Lyon, with similar round-ups happening in other major cities including Marseille. Caravans and huts were destroyed in the Belleville area of central Paris on Wednesday, making another 100 people homeless.

'Many of those evicted will be flown home to Romania,' said an interior ministry source, who insisted the deportations were aimed at ridding France of 'illegal' communities. ...

The policy being pursued by France's socialist government was formulated by former conservative president Nicolas Sarkozy, who was frequently accused of pandering to the far right.

His government linked Roma camps with crime, suggesting that many of the thieves and muggers operating in big cities were homeless Romanians.

Many expected the more liberal socialists to show a more relaxed attitude toward immigrants, especially those from European Union member states. But Manuel Valls, the new interior minister, said the camps were a 'challenge' to 'people living together'.

He insisted the police would uphold all court orders aimed at dismantling them.

Neighbours of the camps often complained about noise and anti-social behaviour, as well as serious crimes, said Mr Valls.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – India
Indian gov't places army on alert amid ethnic riots
Asia News Network / The Statesman, 9 August 2012

The Indian government has placed its army on alert to deal with the escalating ethnic riots in the northeast state Assam. ...

The government has already agreed to the request of the Assam government and ordered a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the month-long violence between native Bodos and Bengali-speaking Muslims that has claimed 77 lives. ...

The lone Bodo MP, S K Bwiswmuthiary, shared the opinion of various opposition MPs, including Tatagatha Sathpathy of the Biju Janata Dal, that the illegal immigration from Bangladesh could force Assam to give away some of its parts as "Bangladesh-occupied Assam".

Trinamul Congress leader and Union minister Saugata Roy slammed Advani for harping on the single point of illegal migration, saying what Assam needed was a healing touch.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Russia
Russia's prime minister voices concern about flow of foreign migrants in its eastern regions / Associated Press, 9 August 2012

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says that Russia must stem the flow of foreign migrants to its sparsely-populated eastern regions and prevent the emergence of enclaves populated by foreigners.

Medvedev didn't name any specific country, but his Thursday's statement marked a rare official acknowledgement of a threat posed by the influx of Chinese migrants to the remote and economically-struggling region.

Russian political experts and the media have long voiced fears about the growing number of Chinese migrants in border areas, saying their presence may eventually weaken federal control over the region.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – welfare, multiculturalism, USA
Slow path to progress for U.S. immigrants: 43% on welfare after 20 years
Stephen Dinan
The Washington Times, 8 August 2012

Immigrants lag behind native-born Americans on most measures of economic well-being – even those who have been in the U.S. the longest, according to a report from the Center for Immigration Studies, which argues that full assimilation is a more complex task than overcoming language or cultural differences. ...

The study, based on 2010 and 2011 census data, found that 43 percent of immigrants who have been in the U.S. at least 20 years were using welfare benefits, a rate that is nearly twice as high as native-born Americans and nearly 50 percent higher than recent immigrants.

The report was released at a time when both major presidential candidates have backed policies that would make it easier to immigrate legally and would boost the numbers of people coming to the U.S. ...

Federal law requires that the government deny immigrant visas to potential immigrants who are likely to be unable to support themselves and thereby become public charges.

On Tuesday, a handful of Republican senators wrote to the Homeland Security and State departments asking them to explain why they don't consider whether potential immigrants would use many of the nearly 80 federal welfare programs when they evaluate visa applications.

Neither department responded to messages Tuesday seeking a response to the senators' letter.

Expanding legal immigration is a contentious issue for voters, the vast majority of whom tell pollsters that they want the levels either retained or decreased.

But most politicians want legal immigration expanded.

During his time in the U.S. Senate, Barack Obama backed bills that would have dramatically boosted legal immigration, potentially by hundreds of thousands a year. As president, he has called for the same thing. ...

His presumed Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, in June called for increasing legal immigration for students who study in high-tech fields and admitting unlimited family members of those who hold green cards. ...

Mr. Camarota's report took a broad look at the immigrant population and found that immigrants are contributing to major changes in American society, including that one-fourth of public school students now speak languages other than English at home. ...

The center found that use of public benefits varied dramatically based on where immigrants originated.

Mexicans were most likely to use means-tested benefit programs, with 57 percent, while 6 percent of those from the United Kingdom did. The rate for native-born Americans is 23 percent.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – welfare, USA
Immigration + Welfare = Bad News
Mark Krikorian
National Review Online, 8 August 2012

While welfare reform overall was a great success, the projections regarding immigrants didn't pan out. The immediate reasons for the failure of the immigrant portion of welfare reform were laid out by George Borjas: Immigrant-heavy states picked up the slack by extending benefits to immigrants, and the immigrant groups most dependent on welfare before the reform saw the largest increases in naturalization rates (enabling them to escape the welfare restrictions specific to non-citizens).

Also, the longstanding requirement that immigrants not be admitted in the first place if they're "likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence" (known as the "public charge" doctrine) has been gutted in a way that's almost comical. According to the immigration service, "non-cash or special purpose cash benefits" are not considered when determining whether an immigrant has become a public charge. That means an immigrant family could be living in public housing, receiving food stamps, on Medicaid, and having their children eat three free meals a day at school and they wouldn't be considered "primarily dependent" on the government!
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – illegal immigrants, Greece
As Greece Rounds Up Migrants, Official Says 'Invasion' Imperils National Stability
Niki Kitsantonis
New York Times, 7 August 2012

A vast police operation here aimed at identifying illegal immigrants found that, of 6,000 people detained over the weekend, 1,400 did not have proper documentation, leading the minister of public order to say that Greece was suffering an "unprecedented invasion" that was threatening the stability of the debt-racked nation.

The minister, Nikos Dendias, defended the mass detentions, saying that a failure to curb a relentless flow of immigrants into Greece would lead the country, which is surviving on foreign loans, to collapse. "Our social fabric is at risk of unraveling," Mr. Dendias told a private television channel, Skai. "The immigration problem is perhaps even greater than the financial one." ...

About 4,500 officers conducted raids on streets and in run-down apartment blocks in central Athens, a police spokesman said, calling the sweep one of the largest ever by the force. ...

With its position on the southeastern flank of the European Union, Greece has long been the most common transit country for impoverished migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. ... ...

The growing population of immigrants in Greece – about 800,000 are registered, and an estimated 350,000 or more are in the country illegally – adds to the anxieties of many Greeks, who are seeing the government's once-generous social spending evaporate. They complain that the foreign residents are depriving them of jobs and threatening the national identity.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Republic of Ireland
One in four Polish workers in country claiming dole
John Drennan
Sunday Independent, 5 August 2012

One in four Polish nationals living in Ireland is now receiving the dole, new statistics have revealed, following Judge Mary Devins's controversial remark about social welfare being a "Polish charity".

The extent of the unemployment crisis within the immigrant community in Ireland is revealed in statistics secured by the Sunday Independent, which show that 25 per cent of Polish nationals between the ages of 15 and 64 are on the dole.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Greece
Greek police evict immigrants from Athens
Focus, 4 August 2012

Police said Saturday they had rounded up about 2,000 people in an operation to evict undocumented immigrants from central Athens, claiming that "national survival" was at stake for debt-choked Greece, AFP reported.

The aim of the operation was "to send them back to their countries of origin, close the borders and ensure that Athens returns to being a lawful city with a quality of life," police spokesman Christos Manouras said.

Operation Xenios Zeus, named after the name of the king of the ancient Greek gods in his role as protector of guests, mobilised 2,000 police in Athens and another 2,500 on Greece's eastern border with Turkey.

Manouras said the deportation of illegal immigrants was a necessity for national survival.

"We must send the message that Greece cannot afford work and hospitality" to would-be immigrants, he said.

Located in the southeastern extremity of the European Union, Greece has become a popular transit point for migrants from Asia or Africa seeking to enter the bloc.

But as the country struggles with a crippling economic crisis and sweeping austerity cuts, social tensions are on the rise and the increase in undocumented immigrants has fuelled xenophobia and racist attacks.

For the first time in Greek political history, the country in June voted into parliament a neo-Nazi party, Golden Dawn, which has promised to purge the country of illegal migrants.

Current figures show Greece has about 800,000 legally-registered immigrants, while the number of those without papers is estimated at more than 350,000. ...

Right-wing Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who took power in June at the head of a broad coalition, pledged during his election campaign to "win back the cities" and stop the "invasion" of immigrants.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – crime, USA
Obama administration failed to deport arrested illegal immigrants who went onto to commit 19 murders and 142 sex crimes
James Nye
Daily Mail, 1 August 2012

Illegal immigrants arrested and then released were responsible for 19 murders, three attempted murders and 142 sex crimes during the first three years of President Obama's administration.

The findings, which were published by the House Judiciary Committee, found that 36,000 illegal immigrants arrested on other charges between 2008 and 2011 failed to be deported by the President and his team.

The study discovered that one in six illegal immigrants is re-arrested on criminal charges within three years of release and House Republicans have condemned what they see as a 'dangerous and deadly' immigration policy.

President Obama and his administration were aware of 159,286 immigrants who had committed crimes and been arrested and declined to deport more than 36,000 of them who were here illegally.

Although three quarters of the almost 160,000 people were not eligible for deportation because they were legal, the rest could have been deported.

Those who could have been deported but were instead released back into the community, went onto commit 19 murders, three attempted murders and 142 sex crimes said the House Judciary Committee which produced the report along with the Congressional Research Service.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Spain
Cameron urged to follow Spain's new EU edict: 'You can't move here without enough money in the bank'
Tom Worden, Glen Owen and Martin Delgado
Mail on Sunday, 29 July 2012

Ministers were last night under pressure to tighten border controls for EU citizens after Spain demanded 'proof of income' from expats hoping to live in the country.

The move – taken in response to the country's economic crisis – was said by one Tory MP to have 'driven a coach and horses' through the EU's cherished principle of the free movement of peoples, and immediately triggered calls for David Cameron to adopt tougher measures.

Madrid hopes to save more than €1 billion euros (£780 million) a year by clamping down on 'economic migrants' from other EU countries, including the UK.

A new ministerial order, slipped out by the Spanish government on July 9, states that any EU citizen living in Spain for more than three months must prove they will not become a financial burden on the State by producing a job contract or documents confirming they have enough money to support themselves.

If they are jobless, they must also show they are covered by health insurance. The decree, which potentially affects thousands of Britons seeking a new life in the country, declares that Spain will now adopt a stricter interpretation of the 'free movement' principle.

The Spanish government has justified the measures by pointing to Article 7 of the 2004 EU directive on free movement, which gives EU member states the power to define it 'without prejudice to national border controls' – in other words, entry conditions can be imposed on other EU citizens by member governments.

The UK has also enacted the provision – and the Home Office insists that it does demand that EU citizens should not be 'an unreasonable burden on public funds' before allowing them to stay in the UK.

However, Phil Woolas, who served as Immigration Minister between 2008 and 2010, told The Mail on Sunday last night that the powers were almost never used.

He said: 'We do have the powers to deport EU citizens – but they are ignored by the British authorities. We should heed the Spanish example and change our approach.

It is only fair that we enforce the laws available to us and stop turning a blind eye to abuses by EU citizens.' ...

The Spanish government admits in a preamble to the legislation that it has failed in the past to regulate immigration from within the EU. ...

The centre-right government of prime minister Mariano Rajoy has introduced the new controls in an attempt to cut expenditure on health and social services. Health minister Ana Mato said recently that 700,000 foreigners had moved to Spain just to obtain free health care.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – violence, India
Church slams Centre, Assam govt for Kokrajhar violence
Deccan Herald, 28 July 2012

Accusing the Union and Assam governments of lacking in "political will" to prevent influx, National Council of Churches in India has said the "disaster" in the northeastern state could have been averted had infiltration of migrants been properly checked at all levels.

"We believe that this disaster (Assam violence) could have been averted, if both the Centre and the Assam government would have taken careful steps, with a strong political will, to check the infiltration of migrants to India, especially to Assam," NCCI general secretary Roger Gaikwad said in a letter to the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram yesterday.

Gaikwad said, "About 10,000 sq km land have been occupied by the migrants and they are now spreading over to other districts. Such influx and occupation will definitely create a fear psychosis among the indigenous people; being helpless, they are bound to retaliate."
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – illegal immigration, politics, India
India riots: Illegal immigration is behind deadly clashes in Assam
Anu Anand
Christian Science Monitor, 25 July 2012

At least 45 people have been killed in ethnic clashes between tribesmen and Muslims that started over the weekend in Assam State in northeast India, according to police.

India's northeast, a lush triangle ringed by China, Burma, and Bangladesh is dotted with picturesque tea estates and pineapple plantations. ...

But this week, the state of Assam ... witnessed brutal mob violence, which virtually cut it off from the rest of India. According to police, at least 45 people have been killed, homes burnt, butchered bodies recovered, railway lines blocked in protest, and at least 150,000 people have fled their homes in fear.

At its heart, Assam's troubles are about corrupt politicians encouraging illegal immigration at the expense of locals.

"Since 1971, there's been a steady influx of immigrants from Bangladesh," says Rahul Pandita, associate editor of Open magazine who's covered India's northeast extensively. "And local politicians gave them Indian identity documents so they would vote for them. They've changed the entire demographics of the area and created a powder keg ready to explode." ...

This week's ethnic clashes involved one of Assam's tribal communities – the Bodo people – against Bengali speaking Muslim migrants. The violence was initially sparked by the death of four Bodo men, but signifies a much wider conflict. ...

Meanwhile, with local police unable to cope, Assam called in Indian Army forces who were given "shoot on sight" orders to quell the clashes. By Wednesday evening, armed forces had shot dead five people.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Australia
Indians largest permanent migrants to Australia
Hindustan Times, 19 July 2012

Indians have become the largest source of permanent migrants who chose to make Australia their home, comprising over 15 per cent of the intake under the country's migration programme this year.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, who is also Citizenship minister, released new official data which showed Indians taking the top spot.

Indian migrants comprised a total of 29,018 places or 15.7 per cent of the total migration programme of 185,000 places under the 2011-12 permanent migration programme. ...

China and the United Kingdom were Australia's second and third largest sources of permanent migrants, with 25,509 and 25,274 places respectively.

Seven of the top 10 source countries in Australia's 2011-12 migration programme are from Asia: India, China, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea and Vietnam.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – politics, multiculturalism, USA
Democrats' ideal voter: illegal alien, single mother, convicted felon
Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter, 18 July 2012

How can a country that elected Ronald Reagan have Obama tied in the polls with Mitt Romney?

The answer is: It's not the same country. ...

While conservatives have been formulating carefully constructed arguments, liberals have been playing a long-term game to change the demographics of America to get an electorate more to their liking.

They will do incalculable damage to the nation and to individual citizens, but Democrats will have an unbeatable majority. Just like California, the United States is on its way to becoming a Third World, one-party state.

Teddy Kennedy's 1965 Immigration Act was expressly designed to change the ethnic composition of America to make it more like Nigeria, considered more susceptible to liberal demagogues.

Since 1965, instead of taking immigrants that replicate the country's existing ethnic mix, we've been admitting mostly immigrants from the Third World. At the same time, people from the countries that sent immigrants to this country for its first several centuries have been barred.

Eighty-five percent of immigrants now come from "developing countries." ... The "browning of America" is not a natural process. It's been artificially imposed by Democrats who are confident of their abilities to turn Third World immigrants into government patrons.

It's worked. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, 57 percent of all immigrant households in the U.S. get cash, Medicaid, housing or food benefits from the government – compared with 39 percent of native households. ... ...

There's a strange asymmetry in how this matter can be discussed. Liberals and ethnic activists boast about how America would be better if it were more Latino, but no one else is allowed to say, "We like the ethnic mix as it is."

That would be racist. By now no one even tries to disagree.

Liberals' other plan to expand the Democratic rolls has been to destroy the family.

Every time someone gets a divorce, Democrats think: We got a new Democratic voter! Every time a child is born out of wedlock: We got a new Democratic voter! And if the woman has an abortion – we got a new Democratic voter!

According to recent polls, Obama has a negative job approval rating of 45 to 49 percent. The reason the polls are tied between Obama and Romney is that single women support Obama by a 2-to-1 margin. The Democrats' siren song to single women is: Don't worry, the government will be your husband.

Our prisons are overflowing with the results of the Democrats' experiment of subsidizing illegitimacy. Children raised by a single mothers commit 72 percent of juvenile murders, 60 percent of rapes, have 70 percent of teenaged births, commit 70 percent of suicides and are 70 percent of high school dropouts.

Controlling for socioeconomic status, race and place of residence, the strongest predictor of whether a person will end up in prison is being raised by a single parent. (The second strongest predictor is having a tattoo.)

A 1990 study by the Progressive Policy Institute showed that after controlling for single motherhood, the difference in black and white crime disappeared.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Israel
Exodus: Israel to drive Africans from Holy Land
RT, 17 July 2012

Israel has initiated the first stage of a controversial "emergency plan" aimed at interning and deporting an estimated 60,000 African immigrants. Officials believe the presence of the Africans poses a threat to the "Jewish character" of the state.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who believes immigrants are swamping his country, has claimed the African migrants "are seen by many Israelis as a law and order issue and even a threat to the long-term viability of the Jewish state."

The Prime Minister promised that in order to stop the hiring of illegal Africans the legislation would be strictly enforced.

Israeli authorities are ready to grant 1,000 euros to any African who agrees to freely leave within five days. Some immigrants have agreed, while others are going to be repatriated by force. ...

"The next stage is the removal from Israel of all the infiltrators from Eritrea and Sudan, whose number comes close to 50,000 people," the Interior Minister said.

Still, the deportation is legally questionable and the Interior Ministry admits it.

"At the moment, we are permitted only to deport from Israel the citizens of South Sudan and the Ivory Coast," Interior Minister Eli Yishai said. ...

The Israeli parliament is also fueling anti-African rhetoric. Parliamentarians in the Knesset do not hesitate to label Africans "cancer" and the "AIDS to Israeli people".

It must be said that the majority of the 7.8 million Israelis supports government migration policies. The latest opinion poll showed 52 per cent of Israelis agree that Africans pose a threat to Israel. ...

Israeli scientist Dr. Shalva Weil warns of another "threat" to the state of Israel. Dr. Weil is an anthropologist and expert on Ethiopian Jewry of Hebrew University claims that in the past 15 years there has been a sharp rise in the number of African tribes "rediscovering" their Jewish heritage.

"It's important that in Israel people understand that millions of people throughout Africa consider themselves Jewish," the professor said. "As far as they are concerned, they are the sons of the lost tribes, and are certain that the Promised Land awaits them."
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA
Feds expanding state access to immigration database for purpose of voter roll cleansing
Washington Post / Associated Press, 16 July 2012

The federal government is expanding access to an immigration database so that several states can use it to cleanse voter rolls, officials said Monday.

Homeland Security Department representatives first notified Florida officials last week that they could check to see if registered voters are actually noncitizens who should not be eligible to cast a ballot. State officials said Monday that the department is now offering similar access to other states who had been requesting the information. ...

The data work is supposed to help states identify people who may be legal residents but not citizens. Since states can't monitor whether someone has become a citizen, the federal database will allow them to check the immigration status of those people.

Colorado has identified some 5,000 people that it wants to check.

The Obama administration had denied Florida's request for database access amid an escalating legal battle with Florida about how it was handling its voter list. A U.S. judge blocked federal attempts to stop Florida's voter review, and the federal government then relented on the database question.

Washington state has been requesting the data since back to the Bush administration. Shane Hamlin, the co-director of elections in Washington, said state officials aren't getting full access to the database that they had sought but that they were pleased with the development.

To check against the database, states will have to provide a "unique identifier," such as an "alien number," for each person in question. Alien numbers generally are assigned to foreigners living in the country legally, often with visas or other permits such as green cards.

The database isn't likely to catch illegal immigrants who may have managed to get on the voter rolls, since those individuals likely wouldn't have an alien number.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Israel
Israel Grapples With Influx of Africans as Tensions Grow
Joshua Mitnick and Joel Millman
Wall Street Journal, 7 July 2012

Israel has stepped up its efforts to round up and repatriate South Sudanese migrants and is building a tent-city detention center in the desert, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government struggles to stem the monthly tide of thousands of Africans crossing illegally from Egypt.

The South Sudanese represent a fraction of some 60,000 Africans who took advantage of lax Egyptian border controls in recent years to slip into Israel. With human-rights groups calling them asylum seekers and the Israeli government insisting they are looking for jobs, the Africans' growing presence has become a lightning rod for racial violence in Tel Aviv and other cities. ...

To deter new arrivals, Israel is building a fence along its border with Egypt and detention facilities in the desert near the border.

"Maybe I sound like a racist, or unenlightened, hateful of foreigners," said Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai, who has been the most vocal advocate of deporting the Africans, in a post on his Facebook page. "This is not a campaign against the infiltrators, but rather a campaign to preserve the identity of the Jewish Zionist state." ...

Unlike the South Sudanese, Israel can't deport the Eritreans, because the international community accuses their government of political repression, or the Sudanese, because Sudan is an enemy of the Jewish state.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – illegal immigrants, USA
'Illegal immigrant' is the uncomfortable truth
Ruben Navarrette Jr.
CNN, 6 July 2012

What's in a name? For my friends and simpaticos in the immigration reform community, enough to go ballistic at the mere mention of the phrase: "illegal immigrant." ...

Undocumented immigrant? Really? That's politically correct, but it's also absurd. Most of these people have plenty of documents. A woman who makes a living cleaning homes in my neighborhood once explained to me that she had a drawer full of fake green cards and IDs saying she was – pick one – a native-born U.S. citizen, legal resident or exchange student. Many illegal immigrants have Matricula ID cards issued by Mexican consulates, foreign passports, drivers licenses in some states and phony Social Security cards where all nine digits are "0's."

This isn't about documents. It has been my experience that many of those who have trouble with the phrase "illegal immigrant" are really troubled by something deeper – the fact that, at the end of the day, by supporting a pathway to earned legal status, they're defending a group of people who engaged in unlawful activity. For some folks, this is messy business. So they try to sanitize it by changing the language.

As a columnist, I don't mind messy. I have never used "illegal aliens," and I never will. And I don't use "illegal" as a noun. But, like many other journalists, including those at CNN, I do use "illegal immigrant." And I refuse to accept that doing so is tantamount to a hate crime. I don't want to demean anyone. But, as someone who makes his living with words, I'd also prefer not to degrade the English language.

Besides, in more than 20 years of writing about illegal immigrants – oops, there, I said it again – I've been accused of defending lawbreakers thousands of times. I plead guilty as charged. I don't condone illegal immigration, but I do often defend illegal immigrants who are unfairly exploited, picked on and blamed for everything from crime to pollution to the quality of public schools. ...

I also think that illegal immigrants are more of a positive than a negative. They make a contribution to the U.S. economy, do jobs Americans won't do, replenish the American spirit with hope and optimism and often raise good kids with a work ethic and strong traditional values that put the native-born to shame. They're not a liability. They're an asset.

But, c'mon. These people are not saints. With the exception of DREAM Act kids involuntarily brought here by their parents, these people did something wrong. Illegal immigrants either overstayed a visa or crossed a border without authorization. That was wrong. Then many of them doubled down on the misdeed by using fake documents to procure employment or not paying income taxes on money earned, even though the federal government has set up an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number that allows illegal immigrants to pay taxes. ...

... We're not talking about criminal law, and so they're not "criminals." Immigration law is based in civil law, and that's why those who break it get deported and not imprisoned. But these people are still lawbreakers, and – by definition – illegal immigrants.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – amnesty, Poland
Poland amnesty benefits thousands of migrants
BBC, 3 July 2012

More than 8,500 illegal migrants living in Poland have taken up an amnesty offer from the authorities, granting them the right to stay and work.

The amnesty, announced in January, mostly affects migrants who have been in Poland for at least four years.

Those refused refugee status before January 2010 are also eligible.

Vietnamese form the largest group. There are also many Pakistanis and Ukrainians. Poland is reckoned to have at least 40,000 illegal migrants.

The deadline for applications - accepted at offices nationwide - was midnight on Monday.

The head of Poland's Immigration Office, Rafal Rogala, told Polish radio that some illegal migrants may have moved from other EU countries, attracted by the amnesty offer.

"Every instance of amnesty entails the risk of what we call 'amnesty tourism', which also could be observed in countries such as Italy and Spain, where undocumented foreigners residing in other EU countries travelled to the country offering amnesty to legalise their stay," he said. ...

According to the interior ministry, just over 2,000 Vietnamese have registered for the amnesty - the largest group. In second place are Ukrainians (more than 1,900), then Pakistanis (more than 1,300).

Poland is in the EU's Schengen zone, where most travellers can move freely across borders without having to show passports.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Germany
Number of German births hit post-war low
Elisa Oddone
Reuters, 3 July 2012

The number of births in Germany fell to a post-war low last year despite government incentives meant to reverse a population decline in the European Union's biggest economy, and analysts blamed a lack of sufficient child care support.

A third of all babies born in Germany, still the EU's most populous member state, came from immigrant families, the analysts said, noting that without them the overall figure would have been much lower.

The preliminary data released by Germany's Federal Statistics Office showed 663,000 children were born in 2011, down from 678,000 in 2010.

"As in every year since 1972, the number of people who died was greater than the number of children born. In 2011 the difference amounted to 190,000 people and in 2010 to 181,000," the office said in a report.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Australia
Green light for boats is the worst of both worlds
Paul Sheehan
Sydney Morning Herald, 2 July 2012

Am I naive to be waiting for a minister in the federal government, a government which now has so much blood on its hands, to take responsibility for the policy failure and resign?

During the past 19 months at least 363 people are known to have drowned while trying to make their way to Australia on fishing vessels. ...

All the deaths at sea are directly linked to policies introduced by the Rudd Labor government and implemented by the Gillard government, when the effective border security arrangements inherited from the Howard government were dismantled. This re-created a problem that had ceased to exist.

Ten years ago, the Howard government used a variety of policies to bring the hammer down on the asylum-seeker traffic. The flow of boats abruptly fell to a trickle. During the six years from 2002 to 2008, just 301 people arrived on 18 boats, an average of three boats and 50 people a year. ...

Clearly, Labor gave a green light to the people-smuggling industry and has sought to deflect blame for the results. It has created the worst of both worlds: a system that is punitive but ineffective, and wildly expensive.

To justify this failure, the government has resorted to lying. Both the Prime Minister and the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, along with relevant ministers, have all parroted the line that under the Howard government, the "Pacific solution" - the processing of asylum seekers in Nauru and Papua New Guinea - was no more than a very costly posture because nearly all these asylum seekers ended up getting residency in Australia.

This is simply not true. Nauru and Manus Island housed 1637 people, of which 1153 were found to be refugees. But only 705 were settled here, while 448 were resettled in other countries.

Now contrast the current success rate of those who arrive after destroying their documents and bypassing immigration. About 90 per cent are being given residency and welfare payments. Yet those who seek to enter the country as skilled migrants are subject to an arduous and protracted vetting process, which just got harder.

As of yesterday, those seeking to arrive as skilled migrants can now be placed in limbo for years under new regulations. ... ...

We thus have the disconnect at the heart of Labor's immigration and refugee regimes that the people who are the least forthcoming, the least qualified, the least vetted, and who have done everything to bypass the vetting system, enjoy the greatest prospects of gaining permanent residency.

The green light for people smuggling is still on. Expect more boats, more deaths, more blame-shifting, and more cost.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA
Hispanics: the rising power in the United States
Jon Swaine
Daily Telegraph, 27 June 2012

Hispanic voters are a growing force in America – are they strong enough to swing victory President Barack Obama's way? ...

Here in Arizona's searing West Valley, home to four of the country's 10 fastest-growing cities, America's future is on display. The US Census Bureau said last month that for the first time more ethnic minority babies were being born than white infants, with Latinos leading the charge. It was a milestone on the road to a nationwide non-white majority, currently forecast for 2042.

With 50,000 of them turning 18 every month, the 21-million-and-rising Latinos eligible to vote are being eyed keenly by those pursuing power. Ballots from growing Hispanic populations, who tend to be younger and Democrat-leaning, could dictate whether Barack Obama, who led among them by 26 points in 2008, can edge victories this year in crucial battleground states such as Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Virginia – and therefore hold on to the White House. "Latinos will be a deciding factor in this election," an Obama campaign source agrees.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA
Prosecutorial Indiscretion
S.H. Chambers
Liberty, 27 June 2012

On June 15, 2012, hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals living illegally in the United States turned on their television sets to hear that they had become eligible for (1) a renewable two-year deferral of removal from the country and (2) a work permit.

While this may seem like a big change for those immigrants, the focus here will not be on what it might do for them, but how it was done, and why.

How do you think it was done? Choose one of the following: (a) Congress passed a new law and the president signed it, (b) the Supreme Court struck down an existing law, (c) the president issued an executive order, or (d) none of the above.

If you chose (c), it would be understandable, as it was President Obama who announced this change in front of the cameras outside the White House. There was, however, no executive order. An executive order cannot be used to overturn an existing law. On September 28, 2011, President Obama told a group of Hispanic journalists that "this notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is not true. The fact of the matter is there are laws on the books I have to enforce." ...

The correct answer is (d), none of the above, which leaves the question, "Then how?"

On June 15, Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, sent a memo to three of her underlings directing them to "exercise prosecutorial discretion" in the cases of certain "low priority" illegal aliens, "effective immediately." (Yes, she ordered them to exercise discretion.) The memo enumerates the criteria to be used to determine which illegal immigrants will get the deferrals and work permits. ...

That's right; it was done by interoffice memo.

It seems odd, doesn't it? When I hear of prosecutorial discretion, I think of cases in which discrepancies in the chain of custody of a bag of pot lead the prosecutor not to bring charges or perhaps to drop charges, that sort of thing. But in this case, according to the June 15 New York Times, "more than 800,000 young people" are now eligible for deferrals and work permits because an unelected bureaucrat fired off a memo. Upon reading that, I had three thoughts: first, "That's quite a few people." Then, "That's a pretty sweeping change." And finally, "That's some discretion."

In any case, that seems to be how it was done.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – European Union
All over Europe, immigration is moving in from the political fringes
Alasdair Palmer
Sunday Telegraph, 24 June 2012

Immigration, from being the great unmentionable of British politics, is turning into the issue that dominates the political agenda. Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, admitted last week that his party had failed to heed voters' concerns about the impact of immigration on employment, and on the provision to native Britons of services such as housing, health and education. ...

A similarly agonised reappraisal is happening across Europe. A couple of weeks ago, EU governments adopted a measure that would allow them to reintroduce border controls, "when the control of an external border is no longer assured due to external circumstances" – a vague phrase which allows countries to impose controls more or less whenever they like. To appreciate what a major change in policy this represents, you merely have to remind yourself that to allow individual countries to control their own borders has always been anathema to the EU. The whole point of the Schengen agreement, from which Britain secured an opt-out, was to ensure that there were no border controls within the EU.

But voters in France and Germany have been increasingly alarmed by the fact that, once migrants from outside the EU manage to get to, say, Greece, they are free to move anywhere in the EU. Migrants could enter France and Germany, and there was nothing that those countries' governments could do to stop them. The new measure was pushed through by the French and German governments to assure their people that there is something they can do: they can impose border controls, and they will do if necessary.

The European Commission fiercely opposed the change, arguing that it violates the basic principle of freedom of movement within the EU – which of course it does. But it couldn't prevent it: the issue was too important to the elected governments.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – politics, USA
Charles Krauthammer: Obama's immigration bombshell is naked lawlessness
Charles Krauthammer, 24 June 2012

"With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations [of immigrants brought here illegally as children] through executive order, that's just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed." – President Barack Obama, March 28, 2011

Those laws remain on the books. They have not changed. Yet Obama last week suspended these very deportations – granting infinitely renewable "deferred action" with attendant work permits – thereby rewriting the law. And doing precisely what he himself admits he is barred from doing.

Obama had tried to change the law. In late 2010, he asked Congress to pass the DREAM Act, which offered a path to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants. Congress refused.

When pressed by Hispanic groups to simply implement the law by executive action, Obama said it would be illegal.

Now he's gone and done it anyway. The election approaches and his margin is slipping. He needs a big Hispanic vote. ...

With a single Homeland Security Department memo, the immigration laws no longer apply to 800,000 people. ... ...

As for policy, I sympathize with the obvious humanitarian motives of the DREAM Act. But two important considerations are overlooked in concentrating exclusively on the DREAM Act poster child, the straight-A valedictorian who rescues kittens from trees.

First, offering potential illegal immigrants the prospect that, if they can successfully hide long enough, their children will one day freely enjoy the bounties of American life creates a huge incentive for yet more illegal immigration.

Second, the case for compassion and fairness is hardly as clear-cut as advertised. What about those who languish for years awaiting legal admission to America? Their scrupulousness about the law could easily cost their children the American future that illegal immigrants will have secured for theirs.

But whatever our honest and honorable disagreements about the policy, what holds us together is a shared allegiance to our constitutional order. That's the fundamental issue here. As Obama himself argued in rejecting the executive action he has now undertaken: "America is a nation of laws, which means I, as the president, am obligated to enforce the law. I don't have a choice about that."

Except, apparently, when violating that solemn obligation serves his re-election needs.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Bangladesh, Burma
Rohingyas in Bangladesh and Myanmar: Quest for a Sustainable Solution
Iftekharul Bashar
reliefweb, 22 June 2012

The effect of the recent ethnic violence in Myanmar's western Rakhine state has created a complex situation for its neighbour Bangladesh which continues to face a mass influx of the displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar.


Though the Bangladeshi authority is providing emergency relief like food, water and medicine to the Rohingyas it has refused to give them shelter within its territory. The Bangladesh government's current policy stance stems from the new domestic complexity created by demographic pressure, resource scarcity, and concern for internal security.

Rohingyas are an ethnic minority in Myanmar, but are not recognised as citizens by the state despite the fact that they have been living there for centuries. The status of the Rohingyas has been contested in Myanmar and often led to persecution in the past.

For Bangladesh the Rohingya refugee influx is not a new phenomenon, having started in 1978 after a military operation in Rakhine state named 'Nagamin Dragon' aimed at suppressing a Rohingya ethnic uprising. Thousands of Rohingyas were killed in the operation and more than 200,000 Rohingyas fled their homes to become refugees in Bangladesh. Another major influx was recorded in 1991, when over 250,800 Rohingyas from Rakhine state took refuge in Bangladesh.

Through UN support and bilateral agreements between Bangladesh and Myanmar some Rohingyas went back to Myanmar, but many more chose to stay in Bangladesh. ... ...

The Rohingya refugees and illegal migrants have changed the demographic profile of southeast Bangladesh. Currently more than 29,000 Rohingya refugees registered with the UNHCR are living in Bangladesh. Another 200,000 Rohingyas are in Bangladesh as illegal migrants. Itself one of the least developed countries, with a population density of more than 900 per square kilometer the refugees add to the mounting pressure on Bangladesh's scarce resources like land and water.

Bangladesh shares a 271-kilometre long border with Myanmar, which cuts through hills, forests, rivers, canals and sea, which make the border management difficult. The porous border is rapidly becoming a conduit of transnational crime such as smuggling of arms and drugs and human trafficking.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – multiculturalism, USA
Liberal Study: Anchor Babies, Immigrant Kids Destroying Economy, Fastest Growing Population Grp
Debbie Schlussel
Debbie Schlussel [blog], 19 June 2012

Here's more hard evidence that Barack Obama's newly announced amnesty for "kids" under age 30 is creating long-term damage to America. And it's a policy, by the way, which Mitt Romney wouldn't say he'd reverse . . . because he won't. We've long known that anchor babies–not just their illegal alien parents–are a huge drain on American society and our dying economy. They cost the State of California – just that state – billions of dollars. But now even a liberal children's foundation is sounding the clarion call through a study that says America's future will be undermined by the children of immigrants, that they will destroy an economy which is already pretty sick and wounded.

The education, health and socioeconomic lot of the children of immigrants, the fastest-growing population group in the U.S., has raised concerns about how those children will perform when they enter the workforce.

Many of the parents are Hispanic and speak little or no English. And though the story of the U.S. is one of immigrants whose children assimilate, some researchers worry about the prospects for this generation. Their performance, they say, could undermine the U.S. economy as the children grow up, affecting everything from medical services for baby boomers to home prices.

"The baby-boom generation ... will increasingly depend on children of immigrants to ensure the economy is productive," said Donald Hernandez, a sociology professor at Hunter College who wrote a report on the children of immigrants.

The report, released Wednesday, was funded by the Foundation for Child Development, a New York-based philanthropy that sponsors research on children's well-being. The report analyzed official demographic, education and health data collected between 1994 and 2010. . . . Now, a quarter of all children in the U.S. have at least one foreign-born parent. Ninety percent of those 18 million children are U.S. citizens who will begin to reach adulthood next year. . . . A quarter drop out of high school, as opposed to 18% for the children of native-born parents, the report said. . . . Children with origins in Mexico and Central America are least likely of any group to finish school, followed by those whose parents are from the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Africa.

More than a third of Hispanic fourth graders were identified by their schools as English language learners, according to a 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Education. By the time they are in middle school, English language learners tend to show the poorest performance in math and reading of all groups.

And lest you think these kids are "disadvantaged," think again. ...

And yet with these advantages, the kids of aliens are still failures that even liberals say will further pull our economy down. So, what do we do? We make sure that even those who are here illegally will get "legal status." Thanks, Obama and Romney.

We've sown the oats of our destruction.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA
The Immigration Ploy
Thomas Sowell, 19 June 2012

President Obama's latest political ploy – granting new "rights" out of thin air, by Executive Order, to illegal immigrants who claim that they were brought into the country when they were children – is all too typical of his short-run approach to the country's long-run problems.

Whatever the merits or demerits of the Obama immigration policy, his Executive Order is good only as long as he remains president, which may be only a matter of months after this year's election.

People cannot plan their lives on the basis of laws that can suddenly appear, and then suddenly disappear, in less than a year. ... ...

Kicking the can down the road is one of the favorite exercises in Washington. But neither in the economy nor in their personal lives can people make plans and commitments on the basis of government policies that suddenly appear and suddenly disappear.

Like so many other Obama ploys, his immigration ploy is not meant to help the country, but to help Obama. This is all about getting the Hispanic vote this November.

The principle involved – keeping children from being hurt by actions over which they had no control – is one already advanced by Senator Marco Rubio, who may well end up as Governor Romney's vice-presidential running mate. The Obama Executive Order, which suddenly popped up like a rabbit out of a magician's hat, steals some of Senator Rubio's thunder, so it is clever politics.

But clever politics is what has gotten this country into so much trouble, not only as regards immigration but also as regards the economy and the dangerous international situation. ...

How do you check someone's claim that he was brought into the country illegally when he was a child? If Obama gets reelected, it is very unlikely that illegal immigrants will really have to prove anything. The administration can simply choose not to enforce that provision, as so many other immigration laws are unenforced in the Obama administration. ...

Not only is border control fundamental, what is also fundamental is the principle that immigration policy does not exist to accommodate foreigners but to protect Americans – and the American culture that has made this the world's richest, freest and most powerful nation for more than a century.

No nation can absorb unlimited numbers of people from another culture without jeopardizing its own culture. In the 19th and early 20th century, America could absorb millions of immigrants who came here to become Americans. But the situation is entirely different today, when group separatism, resentment and polarization are being promoted by both the education system and politicians.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA, race, racism
Racial Double Standards
Walter E. Williams, 19 June 2012

Back in 2009, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said we were "a nation of cowards" on matters of race. Permit me to be brave and run a few assertions by you just to see whether we're on the same page. There should be two standards for civilized conduct: one for whites, which is higher, and another for blacks, which is lower. In other words, in the name of justice and fair play, blacks should not be held accountable to the same standards that whites are and should not be criticized for conduct that we'd deem disgusting and racist if said or done by whites.

You say, "Williams, what in the world are you talking about?" Mitt Romney hasn't revealed all of his fall campaign strategy yet, but what if he launched a "White Americans for Romney" movement in an effort to get out the white vote? If the Romney campaign did that, there'd be a media-led outcry across the land, with charges ranging from racial insensitivity to outright racism. When President Barack Obama announced his 2012 launch of "African Americans for Obama", the silence was deafening. Should the same standards be applied to Obama as would be applied to Romney? The answer turns out to be no, because Obama is not held to the same standards as Romney.

Liberals won't actually come out and say that criticism of Obama is in and of itself racist, but they come pretty close. ...

Racial double standards also apply to how crime is reported. I'm betting that if mobs of white youths were going about severely beating and robbing blacks at random and preying on black businesses, it would be major news. News anchors might open, "Tonight we report on the most recent wave of racist whites organizing unprovoked attacks on innocent black people and their businesses." If white thugs were actually doing that, politicians would be demanding answers. Such random attacks do happen, but it's blacks preying on whites. ...

Similar episodes of unprovoked violence by black thugs against white people chosen at random on beaches, in shopping malls and at other public places have occurred in Philadelphia, New York, Denver, Chicago, Cleveland, Washington, Los Angeles and other cities. Most of the time, the race of the attackers, euphemistically called flash mobs, is not reported, even though media leftists and their allies are experts in reporting racial disparities in prison sentencing and the alleged injustice of the criminal justice system.

Racial double standards are not restricted to the political arena and crime reporting; we see it on college campuses and in the workplace. Black people ought to be offended by the idea that we are held accountable to lower standards of conduct and achievement. White people ought to be ashamed for permitting and fostering racial double standards that have effects that are in some ways worse than the cruel racism of yesteryear.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA, Asians
In a Shift, Biggest Wave of Migrants Is Now Asian
Kirk Semple
New York Times, 19 June 2012

Asians have surpassed Hispanics as the largest wave of new immigrants to the United States, pushing the population of Asian descent to a record 18.2 million and helping to make Asians the fastest-growing racial group in the country, according to a study released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center.

While Asian immigration has increased slightly in recent years, the shift in ranking is largely attributable to the sharp decline in Hispanic immigration, the study said.

About 430,000 Asians – or 36 percent of all new immigrants, legal and illegal – moved to the United States in 2010, compared with 370,000 Hispanics, or 31 percent of all new arrivals, the study said. Just three years earlier, the ratio was reversed: about 390,000 Asians immigrated in 2007, compared with 540,000 Hispanics. ...

Tougher enforcement measures have made a greater impact on the Hispanic immigrant population than on the Asian immigrant population because a much higher percentage of Hispanics are in the United States without immigration papers, experts said. About 45 percent of Hispanic immigrants in the United States are here illegally compared with about 13 percent to 15 percent of Asian immigrants, Pew demographers found.

Under this pressure, Hispanic immigration dropped 31 percent from 2007 to 2010, while Asian immigration increased about 10 percent. ...

The findings are part of a study called "The Rise of Asian-Americans," a comprehensive analysis of the Asian population in the United States. ... ...

The growth of the Asian population has been noteworthy for its speed. In 1965, after a century of exclusionary, race-based policies, the Asian share of the American population was less than 1 percent. But immigration reform legislation that year opened the door to broader immigration from around the world. The Asian share of the total population is now about 5.8 percent, the Pew study said. ...

At least 83 percent of the total Asian population in the United States traces its ancestry to China, the Philippines, India, Vietnam, the Korean Peninsula or Japan – and demographic characteristics can vary widely from group to group.

Indians, for instance, lead all other Asian subgroups in income and education, the report said. Indians, Japanese and Filipinos have lower poverty rates than the general public, while Koreans, Vietnamese and Chinese have higher poverty rates.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA
Will a new immigration policy get Latinos to the polls?
William Marquez
BBC, 16 June 2012

President Obama's decision to halt the deportation young undocumented immigrants has generated a wave of positive reactions from the Latino community in the US and from advocates of immigration reform.

His critics, however, accuse the president of ignoring Congress by using "prosecutorial discretion" - his executive prerogative - to implement the measure. They also say it is a strategic move in his bid for re-election.

The initiative addresses one of the most sensitive aspects of the immigration issue: what to do with the children who were brought in illegally by their parents.

The measure allows undocumented youths between the ages of 16-30 who have been in the country for at least five consecutive years to remain in the country and apply for work permits. It is estimated to affect up to 800,000 people.

"This is great news," said Clarissa Martinez, of the National Council of La Raza, the largest Latino advocacy organisation in the US. "It is the correct use of prosecutorial discretion in light of the inaction from Congress to approve a comprehensive immigration reform."

Prosecutorial discretion is the executive's prerogative to apply policies without a debate or approval from the legislative branch. ... ...

Hispanics are a demographic group considered crucial for success in the upcoming presidential election and with whom Mr Romney has had difficulties connecting. ...

Nevertheless, some believe that the president has taken the most explicit step yet in ignoring the constitutional functions of Congress.

"I don't think it's too much to describe this as a lawless act," Mark Krikorian from the Center of Immigration Studies in Washington says. "This is really making immigration law without the input from Congress."

Mr Krikorian points out that, in principle, he is not against the Dream Act, but any decision on immigration must be in consultation with the legislators.

"This administration is willing to do whatever it takes, even outside the law, to achieve its political objectives. It's a desperation move," he said.

The president's re-election strategy has had difficulties of late but today's announcement could very well revitalise his campaign.

And there have been plenty of positive reactions from the Democrats.

"There had clearly been some disappointment from the Latino electorate but this is going to fill them with enthusiasm," Maria Cardona, a strategist for the Democratic party, said.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Jamaicans, USA
Around 100,000 Jamaicans could benefit from new Obama immigration policy
Stabroek News, 16 June 2012

Leaders in the Jamaican Diaspora in the United States estimate that as many as 100,000 Jamaicans could benefit from the new immigration policy announced today by US President Barack Obama.

Under the new policy, the US Government has agreed to stop the deportation of undocumented immigrants who were brought into the country before they were 16 years-old and are currently under 30 years-old.

Those who fall within that category will be allowed to apply for work permits that will be good for two years with no limits on the number of times it can be renewed.

However, these persons will have to demonstrate that they have been in the US for the last five years, do not have a criminal record and that they graduated from a US high school or served in the military.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Australia
Cheats abuse law to overstay in Australia
John Masanauskas
Daily Telegraph [Australia], 15 June 2012

Failed asylum seekers, foreign students overstaying their visas and others facing deportation admit to rorting the immigration system to stay in Australia, according to an official report.

The Immigration Department study revealed unsuccessful visa applicants had a "dig in and resist" mentality, believing they had a "personal entitlement" to stay in Australia and could beat the system with persistence. It found some refugee advocates, migration agents and religious groups misled asylum seekers by raising expectations and false hopes about their chances of staying in Australia.

Based on interviews with people facing removal from Australia and immigration officers, the report revealed the department was besieged by those with a "stay-at-all-cost" mindset.

It found people used every means to extend their stay and many saw marrying an Australian as a viable way to remain permanently, with the aim of later bringing out family. ...

"They believed the system was there to be exploited and no decision was seen as final."

Among those surveyed were Afghan, Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, UK and New Zealand nationals. Most had been in Australia between two and 10 years - some for decades. ...

The report said many surveyed asylum seekers were drug addicts and had mental health problems, and they had a general attitude that the department lacked credibility and was "just trying to get rid of people". The Management Of Enforced Removals In Australia: A Client Perspective report was done for the department by consultants Hall & Partners/Open Mind.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Burma
Myanmar conflict spurs hatred for Asia's outcasts
Todd Pitman
Associated Press, 14 June 2012

They have been called ogres and animals, terrorists and much worse – when their existence is even acknowledged.

Asia's more than 1 million ethnic Rohingya Muslims are considered by rights groups to be among the most persecuted people on earth. Most live in a bizarre, 21st-century purgatory without passports, unable to travel freely or call any place home.

In Myanmar, shaken this week by a bloody spasm of violence involving Rohingyas that left dozens of civilians dead, they are almost universally despised. ... ...

The Myanmar government regards Rohingyas mostly as illegal migrants from Bangladesh, despite the fact many of their families have lived in Myanmar for generations. Bangladesh rejects them just as stridently.

"This is the tragedy of being stateless," said Chris Lewa, who runs a non-governmental organization called the Arakan Project that advocates for the Rohingya cause worldwide.

"In Burma they're told they're illegals who should go back to Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, they're told they're Burmese who should go back home," Lewa said. "Unfortunately, they're just caught in the middle. They have been persecuted for decades, and it's only getting worse."

That fact was made painfully clear this week as Bangladeshi coast guard units turned back boatload after boatload of terrified Rohingya refugees trying to escape the latest violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state. Rohingyas have clashed with ethnic Rakhine Buddhists, and each side blames the other for the violence.

The boats were filled with women and children, and Bangladesh has defied international calls to let them in, saying the impoverished country's resources are already too strained. ...

The grudges go back far. Bitterness against the Rohingya in Myanmar has roots in a complex web of issues: the fear that Muslims are encroaching illegally on scarce land in a predominantly Buddhist country; the fact that the Rohingya look different than other Burmese; an effort by the former junta to portray them as foreigners. ...

Myanmar's government has the largest Rohingya population in the world: 800,000, according to the United Nations. Another 250,000 are in Bangladesh, and hundreds of thousands more are scattered around other parts of the world, primarily the Middle East. ...

The Rohingya must get government permission to travel outside their own villages and even to marry. Apparently concerned about their numbers growing, authorities have also barred them from having more than two children. ...

While vitriol has come from both sides, what makes the latest unrest unique is that virtually "the entire population is openly and completely against" them, said Sai Latt, a writer and Myanmar analyst studying at Canada's Simon Fraser University.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Italy
Amnesty: Italy signs secret migrant deal with Libya
Nikolaj Nielsen, 13 June 2012

Italy has signed a new agreement with the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) to "curtail the flow of migrants," according to a report by Amnesty International.

Details of the pact have not been made public.

But the NGO in a report out on Wednesday (13 June) says it was signed on 3 April and entitles Italian authorities to intercept asylum seekers at sea and hand them back to Libyan soldiers.

It believes the agreement violates Italy's obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights because it does not contain human rights safeguards.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Israel
Forces round up dozens of migrants in 2nd wave of arrests
The Jerusalem Post, 11 June 2012

Immigration authorities early Monday morning rounded up dozens of African illegal migrants for deportation in Eilat and other southern cities.

The roundup, carried out by the Population and Immigration Authority's Oz Unit, came one day after authorities arrested 25 migrants in Eilat, among them eight from South Sudan.

Though PIBA had not yet released figures on how many arrests had been made, local South Sudanese in Eilat and south Tel Aviv told The Jerusalem Post that they knew of a large number detained on Monday. The migrants in both cities also said that members of the community were staying indoors to avoid arrest. ...

Hours after Sunday's arrests were announced, hundreds of African migrants, most of them from Darfur and elsewhere in Sudan, marched in Tel Aviv against what organizers said is racism and the mistreatment of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Israel
'Most African 'infiltrators' are economic migrants'
Ben Hartman
The Jerusalem Post, 10 June 2012

Exclusive: Head of new Interior Ministry task force on the 'infiltrator problem' tells 'Post' that today in Israel live some 700,000 non-Israelis, around 10% of the country's population.

Almost all African migrants in Israel came to the country for economic reasons and are not genuine refugees, according to the new head of a new task force launched by the Interior Ministry to deal with the issue.

Arnon Soffer, a professor of geography at the University of Haifa and the National Defense College, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that "this claim that they are refugees has been put forth by a group of around 10 Israeli lawyers who make a lot of money from these unfortunate people, making claims before the courts that they are refugees."

He added that while in his estimation there were initially some legitimate refugees from Darfur who came to Israel "all the rest are people who came here to work, just like others like them went to Europe. And what will they say to you, that they came here to work? No, they'll say they fled their country and it's up to you to decide what to believe."

Soffer said that even if there are reports of fighting or bloodshed in South Sudan, geographically Sudan and South Sudan together "are the size of Europe."

"So if someone fires a gun somewhere in Sudan all of the country is in a war? What, we've never had rockets on Haifa and Sderot and this made all of Israel not a great place, what is this nonsense?" he continued.

Interior Minister Eli Yishai announced the formation of the task force last week, saying that it would have two main goals: stopping further illegal migration to Israel; and finding ways to deport those currently residing in the country illegally. ...

Soffer also gave the estimation that there are around 700,000 foreigners living in Israel today, about 10% of the country's population. Soffer said the population includes about 60,000 African foreign workers, 300,000 Palestinians who have relocated to within the Green Line, 100,000 tourists living illegally in the country, and between 100,000-200,000 non-African foreign workers.

The professor said he doesn't want to involve himself with the issue of who is to blame, saying it's a matter for the media discuss, and that his concern is working to ensure Israel "remains a Jewish, democratic country".
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – crime, USA
Los Zetas have formed alliance with Chinese mafia
Dave Gibson, 9 June 2012

According to a former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent, the ultraviolent Mexican drug cartel known as Los Zetas has formed a partnership with the Chinese mafia which will result in a sharp increase in Chinese nationals illegally entering the U.S. from Mexico.

Former DEA supervisor, Phil Jordan recently told KRGV News 5: "The Chinese organized criminals - especially when it comes to human smuggling - will team up with anybody that will assist them in transporting people from China to the U.S. via Mexico... The Zetas are well organized in smuggling people in the U.S." ...

The sale of many of the chemicals used in making methamphetamine have been banned, or are now strictly controlled in the United States, as a result, China has become a major supplier of the precursor chemicals used to manufacture the drug for all of the cartels. ...

Last year, an anonymous U.S. official told Reuters that between October and November 2010, Mexican authorities seized 818 tons of chemicals used in making crystal meth.

Due to rampant corruption among port officials, the cartels are allowed to receive large shipments of the chemicals from China which are transported to meth labs throughout Mexico. ...

In 2009 alone, the Mexican police and military found 215 meth labs, a 400 percent increase of the labs discovered in 2008.

According to the DEA, 90 percent of the methamphetamine sold in the U.S. is brought into this country from Mexico and distributed by several street gangs such as the notoriously violent MS-13.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Israel
Israel enacts law allowing authorities to detain illegal migrants for up to 3 years
Dana Weiler-Polak
Haaretz, 3 June 2012

A law granting Israeli authorities the power to detain illegal migrants for up to three years came into effect on Sunday, in the wake of widening public controversy over the influx of African migrants who cross into Israel along its border with Egypt.

The law makes illegal migrants and asylum seekers liable to jail, without trial or deportation, if caught staying in Israel for long periods. In addition, anyone helping migrants or providing them with shelter could face prison sentences of between five and 15 years. ...

All those detained go through an identification process and a medical examination. Those who file for asylum receive a temporary visa to remain in Israel. Sudanese and Eritreans, however, are not allowed to file for asylum, although they are automatically eligible for temporary shelter and a one-way ticket to Tel Aviv. Some migrants continue independently to Arad or Eilat where they often have acquaintances.

According to the ministry, up to 60,000 African migrant currently live in Israel, with 2,031 entering in the month of May alone. ...

Meanwhile on Sunday, Israeli daily Maariv published an interview with Interior Minister Eli Yishai, in which he stated that most of the "Muslims that arrive here do not even believe that this country belongs to us, to the white man."

"I will continue the struggle until the end of my term, with no compramises," Yishai continued, stating that he would use "all the tools to expel the foreigners, until not one infiltrator remains."
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Israel
Israel, land of Jewish refugees, riled by influx of Africans
Joshua Mitnick
Christian Science Monitor, 24 May 2012

Violent riots broke out in Tel Aviv last night as a growing tide of African migrants strains Israel's ideal as a land for refugees.

In an ironic twist, Israel's most tolerant city erupted in violent riots against African migrants last night, eliciting comparisons with "pogrom" attacks on European Jewish communities in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Over the past five years, tens of thousands of African refugees have poured into Israel, particularly into Tel Aviv's more conservative working-class southern neighborhoods. Their presence has fueled a growing moral and policy dilemma that pits the Jewish collective memory of refugeedom against present day fears for the state's economy and Jewish majority.

"Here is Israel, a country of refugees who gathered here from all over the world after having suffered for hundreds of years from racist persecution, discrimination, blind hatred, pogroms and death camps," wrote Shai Golden, a columnist in the Maariv newspaper, today. "Along come the members of the third generation after the restoration of this nation and they are amassing now against other refugees because of their difference, because of the color of their skin, because of their own economic and social distress, and they are behaving exactly the way the members of the host countries that hosted their parents and grandparents behaved." ...

The African migrants crossing illegally into Israel from Egypt are seeking refuge from oppression back home but have been left in a legal limbo by Israeli authorities who refrain from deporting them but won't grant work permits or residency status. ...

The municipality estimates there are 60,000 Africans residing in a city with a population of about 400,000. That statistic, plus the growing calls of south Tel Aviv residents for solutions, has added a new dimension to the debate. ... ...

The frustration of south Tel Aviv residents is compounded by decades of ethnic bitterness among the working-class Middle Eastern Jews toward the liberal and more elite European Jews, who are seen as sympathizing with the Africans and ignoring the distress of local Israelis. ...

But even some liberal advocates who have called on the government to grant the migrants residency status are acknowledging that the sheer size of the African community is posing a social threat.

"No one except a psychotic racist would deny that the overwhelming majority of Africans here are law-abiding," wrote Larry Derfner, a columnist for the left-wing +972 blog. "But with at least 60,000 here and 2,000 to 3,000 more arriving monthly, all of them crowding into a few neighborhoods of poor, conservative, frightened Jews, they are a threat to the fabric of this society. Given their numbers, there's a limit to how much compassion Israel can show them. At this point, we have to worry about our own first."
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – public opinion, China
Most Chinese favor scrutinizing foreigners: poll
China Daily [Europe], 23 May 2012

Ninety-four percent of participants in a recent online survey agreed that the financial conditions, real estate assets and job status of foreigners living in China should be more closely scrutinized.

More than 6,000 netizens have responded to a poll created on Monday by outspoken children's writer Zheng Yuanjie on Sina Weibo, a popular Chinese microblogging site. ...

The number of foreigners coming to China has increased significantly since the country implemented its opening-up and reform policies in the late 1970s.

... As of 2011, over 4,700 foreigners were issued permanent residence permits in China.

More than 20,000 foreigners were found to enter, reside or work in China illegally last year, figures from the Ministry of Public Security show.

A source from the ministry claimed that illegal residents tend to be from neighboring countries and are typically employed as foreign language teachers, entertainers or housekeepers.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – population, census, USA
2010 census missed more than 1.5M minorities
Hope Yen
Associated Press, 23 May 2012

The 2010 census missed more than 1.5 million minorities after struggling to count black Americans, Hispanics, renters and young men, but was mostly accurate, the government said Tuesday.

The Census Bureau released an extensive assessment of its high-stakes, once-a-decade headcount of the U.S. population. Based on a sample survey, the government analysis has been a source of political controversy in the past over whether to "statistically adjust" census results to correct for undercounts, which usually involve minorities who tend to vote Democratic. ...

However, the census missed about 2.1 percent of black Americans and 1.5 percent of Hispanics, together accounting for some 1.5 million people. The percentages are statistically comparable to 2000, despite an aggressive advertising and minority outreach effort in 2010 that pushed total census costs to an unprecedented $15 billion.

Also undercounted were about 5 percent of American Indians living on reservations and nearly 2 percent of minorities who marked themselves as "some other race." ...

The findings come after more than 100 cities including New York challenged the official 2010 results as too low.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – public opinion, employment, Australia
Backing for immigration ban grows, new research reveals
Anne Wright and John Masanauskas
AdelaideNow, 22 May 2012

More than half of Australians want our borders closed and immigration ended.

New research reveals a dramatic swing against border issues, with 51 per cent in favour of saying no to all migrants - a 10 per cent jump since 2005.

Fears over falling job security and the burgeoning population putting more strain on infrastructure are two reasons for the shift in attitudes. The federal opposition said yesterday the anti-immigration sentiment was due to rising public anger about the number of asylum seekers attempting to enter the country.

Just a third of the 2000 people questioned by Quantum Market Research for AustraliaSCAN believed overseas migration made Australia "a more interesting and exciting place", down from almost half in 1995.

Almost two thirds said they believed migrants should try to "adopt the Australian way of life" when they arrived.

The number who believe the country has room to accommodate more people also plunged to less than a third, down from 42 per cent a decade ago.

Monash University migration expert Bob Birrell said the results showed public opinion about immigration had moved into new territory.

"I think they are right to be worried, we have record levels of immigration and as a consequence we are allowing 100,000 migrants to enter the workforce at a time when employment growth is at a level lower than that," Dr Birrell said.

"People are concerned that the present rate of population growth is not sustainable and is going to make Australia a poorer place to live rather than a better one." ...

A spokesman for Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said migration had brought substantial economic and cultural benefits to Australia, but net overseas migration numbers had blown out under the Howard government due to an influx of low-skilled workers who abused the system.

"Our immigration reforms are delivering a sustainable level of migration, while responding to labour market needs," he said.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Israel
Netanyahu warns of infiltrators 'flooding' Israel
The Jerusalem Post, 20 May 2012

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Sunday of the need to prevent "illegal infiltrators flooding the country," Army Radio reported.

"If we don't stop their entry, the problem that currently stands at 60,000 could grow to 600,000, and that threatens our existence as a Jewish and democratic state," he said at the weekly cabinet meeting, held this week at Ammunition Hill in honor of Jerusalem Day. ...

Israel's rapidly growing African migrant population of around 50,000 has become a hot-button issue over the past two years, and particularly in recent weeks.

Interior Minister Eli Yishai said that African migrants who do not leave Israel willingly must be jailed or expelled.

"I need to return security to the citizens of Israel," Yishai told Army Radio Sunday, adding that Israel can send migrants back to their home countries or a willing third country.

When asked about the morality of sending refugees back to their countries of origin, Yishai said that only a small fraction of the migrants are refugees, and that no other solutions were available. "Whoever is complaining should go to south Tel Aviv or invite the infiltrators to their neighborhood," Yishai said.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA
More children born to ethnic minorities than to white families in US
Peter Foster and Jon Swaine
Daily Telegraph, 18 May 2012

For the first time in US history, more children were born to ethnic minorities last year than to white families, new data has shown, highlighting the coming of a seismic shift in the demographic complexion of America. ...

The figures showed that in the year to July 2011, some 50.4 per cent of babies born in the US were born to non-Whites – 26 per cent for Hispanics, 15 per cent African-Americans, 5 per cent Asian and the remaining 4.5 per cent in mixed marriages. ...

Although a weak US economy has slowed Hispanic immigration in recent years, the demographic momentum is firmly with minorities, with white US women now having a median age of 42, compared with just 27 for Hispanics, the peak age for fertility. ...

However Roderick Harrison, a sociologist at Howard University and former chief racial statistician at the US Census Bureau, said that the deep polarisation of US politics was now making it almost impossible to address issues that were of increasingly existential importance to the US.

"The country is close to ungovernable and this is something that is just getting to be beyond us," he said, "There are more benefits for political parties to exploit these divisions for short-term gain than to work for an overall solution that would require compromises, but would put the country on the right course. I don't see very much hope". ...

Jamal Simmons, a Democratic political consultant and race-relations expert, said that the coming racial collision would be a "huge factor" in trying to plot a successful course for the US, but that key was making people understand that the economic issues cut both ways.
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Immigration abroad – politics, USA
Has the Bell Begun To Toll for the GOP?
Patrick J. Buchanan, 18 May 2012

Among the more controversial chapters in Suicide of a Superpower, my book published last fall, was the one titled, "The End of White America."

It dealt with the demographic decline of the white majority and what it portends for education, the U.S. economy, politics and national unity.

That book and chapter proved the proximate cause of my departure from MSNBC, where the network president declared that subjects such as these are inappropriate for "the national dialogue."

Apparently, the mainstream media are reassessing that.

For, in rare unanimity, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today all led yesterday with the same story.

"Whites Account for Under Half of Births in U.S.," blared the Times headline. "Minority Babies Majority in U.S.," echoed the Post. "Minorities Are Now a Majority of Births," proclaimed USA Today.

The USA Today story continued, "The nation's growing diversity has huge implications for education, economics and politics."

Huge is right. ...

Republicans now depend on the vanishing majority for fully 90 percent of their votes in presidential elections, while the Democratic Party wins 60 to 70 percent of the Asian and Hispanic vote and 90 to 95 percent of the black vote.

The Democratic base is growing inexorably, while the Republican base is shriveling.

Already, California, Illinois and New York are lost. The GOP has not carried any of the three in five presidential elections. ... ...

Thus the GOP refrain: We must work harder to win over Hispanics.

Undeniably true. But how does the GOP appeal to them?

Fifty-three percent of all Hispanic children are born out of wedlock, with no father in the home and many of the moms themselves high school dropouts. Most Hispanic kids thus start school far behind.

In tests of fourth-, eighth- and 12th-graders, their scores are closer to those of African-American kids than whites and Asians. Their dropout rate matches that of black kids. ...

Not a formula for social peace.

Comes the reply: We must spend more to close the racial gap in test scores. Yet, according to The Washington Examiner, in the District of Columbia, the community where we have spent perhaps the most per capita to close the racial gap in test scores, the racial gap is by far the largest in the nation. ...

Establishment Republicans say the party should support amnesty for illegal aliens. Yet this would make millions more eligible for federal programs in a country sinking in debt and mean millions more Hispanics going to the polls, and millions more coming to America in anticipation of the next amnesty.

How would that help the GOP?

By endlessly expanding Great Society programs, by lopping taxpayers off tax rolls, by supporting open borders and endless immigration from the Third World, the Republican Party, out of sheer nobility of character, has probably ensured its impending departure from history.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA
What will a white-minority US look like?
Daniel Nasaw
BBC, 18 May 2012

The US has reached a demographic tipping point, with most babies born now belonging to minority groups. ...

Much of the change is driven by high birth rates among the Hispanic population.

The official notice foreshadows the day, expected in the 2040s, when non-Hispanic whites - like the group that founded America - will be in the minority.

In the new US, what will change - and what might remain the same?

The vast majority of young Americans have no qualms about marrying outside their racial and ethnic groups, says Jeffrey Passel, a senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center, so a growing proportion of Americans will be biracial.

"The new generation does not see colour, they don't see race," says Ken Gronbach, a demographer and futurist who writes and lectures on marketing and generational change.

"The whole complexion of the US is going to get darker - we're going to look like [bi-racial baseball player] Derek Jeter."

The shift is already apparent in advertising and will become more so, says Howard Buford, president of Prime Access, a multicultural marketing agency in New York. ...

The baby on the Downy fabric softener logo for decades was blond-haired and blue-eyed, he notes. Now, the child has dark hair and eyes and olive skin. ...

Americans should have little fear of widespread racial and ethnic tension, especially true if America's political and community leaders do a good job of reminding people of the country's history as a diverse haven for immigrants, demographers say.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA
Milestone for US as more than half of births come from minority groups
Ed Pilkington
The Guardian, 17 May 2012

America has crossed a landmark in its demographic make-up, presaging a monumental shift in the country's culture, politics and economics, with minority groups for the first time in US history accounting for more than half of all births.

New figures released by the US census bureau underline the changing face of the world's only superpower. They show that most children born between July 2010 and July 2011 belonged to ethnic or racial minorities, with Hispanic families driving the demographic growth.

Within that year, 1.98 million non-Hispanic white babies were born – just below half of the 4m total of births. The proportion of white births – 49.6% in that period – has never before fallen below the halfway mark since the advent of large-scale European immigration to the US.

The milestone has been a long time coming, with key demographic trends leading up to it for at least two decades. But the bare fact that American children under the age of one are now more likely numerically to be Hispanic, black or Asian than they are to be white still constitutes a moment of enormous significance. ...

"Increasingly, the children of America are minority children. The future of this country will to a great extent be tied to its minority population," said Steve Murdock, a sociology professor at Rice University in Texas and former head of the US census bureau. ...

Two-thirds of the growth in the Hispanic population comes from births rather than migration, and under US laws each of the more than 1 million babies born to Latina mothers in 2010/11 are full US citizens. ...

In a year in which the race for the White House could be determined in a handful of swing states with large Hispanic populations, from Colorado to Florida, the potential electoral impact of the demographic movement is also profound.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Greece, Europe
Greece's Migrant Influx Spurs EU Anger
James Angelos
Wall Street Journal, 12 May 2012

As Greece struggles with political upheaval and deepening economic malaise, its 126-mile-long land border with Turkey has become the flash point for a crisis of another sort – a tide of refugees and illegal immigrants.

Thousands of people fleeing poverty and turmoil in the Middle East, Africa and southern Asia are stepping across Greece's muddy boundary with Turkey each month. The trend is testing government resources, fueling support for ultranationalist groups in blighted urban areas and raising tensions between Athens and the European Union.

Greece's border with Turkey, which runs through the verdant Evros River valley, has become the preferred passage for smugglers and migrants seeking to avoid more perilous sea routes, European officials say.

At times, the area has accounted for as much as 90% of detected illegal border crossings into the EU, according to Frontex, Europe's border agency. Last year, about 55,000 illegal crossings were detected on Greece's land border with Turkey, it says. Greek officials say they expect more than 100,000 migrants to arrive this year. ...

While the country's total count of undocumented migrants and asylum-seekers isn't clear, some academics place the number at 400,000 to 700,000. As homeless, unemployed migrants fill city squares and parks in Greece's struggling cities, anti-immigrant sentiment is on the rise, with violent, racist attacks reaching "alarming proportions," according to Human Rights Watch. ... ...

Frontex, the border agency, says it is helping Greek authorities by providing border surveillance and helping identify irregular migrants' nationalities, a first step toward any potential deportation proceeding. Afghans and Pakistanis recently accounted for the largest groups entering Greece over the Turkish border, says the agency. ...

Some European politicians say Greece's failure to grapple with the issue risks undermining the principle of open borders adopted by most EU members under the so-called Schengen treaty.

"If countries such as Greece fail to control the external borders, we must be able to temporarily control the internal borders again," German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told Germany's Rheinische Post newspaper last month. "The open borders within the Schengen area should not become a gateway for illegal migration flows."
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA
13% in U.S. foreign-born, a level last seen in 1920
Rebecca Trounson
Los Angeles Times, 11 May 2012

Of 40 million born abroad, the greatest number lives in California, with large populations in New York, Texas and Florida, Census Bureau report says.

The U.S. foreign-born population has risen to its highest level since 1920, with 13% of all those living in the nation in 2010 having been born elsewhere, a new report from the Census Bureau shows.

Forty million of those residing in the U.S. in 2010 were born in other countries, up from 31 million, or 11% of the total, a decade earlier. The foreign-born share of the population dropped between 1920 and 1970, hitting a low of 4.7% in 1970, before rising again for several decades. ...

The new report draws on the 2010 American Community Survey, an annual poll of 3 million U.S. households.

The report details many characteristics of the foreign-born population, showing that on average, foreign-born households are larger than those of people born in this country, have more children younger than 18 and are more likely to include three generations or more living under one roof. ...

More than half of the nation's foreign-born people arrived from Latin America and the Caribbean, with most of those from Mexico, the report showed. More than a quarter of the total came to the U.S. from Asia, with about 12% from Europe, 4% from Africa and smaller percentages from other regions.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – cost, illegal immigrants, USA
Illegal immigrants benefiting from billion-dollar tax loophole, 10 May 2012

Immigration may be among the most divisive topics in U.S. politics today. So when a reporter in Indiana uncovered a billion-dollar tax loophole that allowed illegal immigrants, who may not even be paying taxes, to get a 5-figure dollar amount in tax returns, more questions were raised than answered.

"We found, in many cases, they're getting these tax credits for nieces and nephews and children who aren't even in the United States," explained Bob Segall with WTHR in Indianapolis.

Segall told 97.3 KIRO FM's Dori Monson Show that in order to get the tax credit for dependents, illegal immigrants only need a letter from the school where the child attends, a birth certificate and a child's photo.

It's a loophole that the U.S. Treasury Inspector General has raised questions about since 2005, when the benefits being claimed were only in the millions. Last year, undocumented workers received approximately $4.2 billion from the government.

The longer the tax credit has been available - the more people are discovering how to use it, and, in some cases abuse it. While you do need proof that there is a child eligible for dependency, they do not have to live in the United States.

Illegal immigrants, many of which are from Mexico - but not all, can provide a letter from a school in Mexico.

Segall said in one case, there were four undocumented workers living in the same mobile home. Between the four of them, they claimed 20 children as dependents, but while investigating the story, only one child was seen living at the home.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Russia
5 Million Illegal Immigrants Could Become Citizens
The Moscow Times, 4 May 2012

A migration amnesty law is being developed that could allow as many as five million illegal immigrants to become Russian citizens.

The Migration of the 21st Century foundation, which seeks to assist the government in developing immigration strategies, has taken the task of drafting an amnesty law after President Dmitry Medvedev called the issue of illegal immigration one of the nations biggest problems at the end of April, Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported Thursday.

The Federal Migration Service has put the number of illegal immigrants in Russia at five million, but taking into account numbers for money transfers abroad, experts think the number could be twice as high.

The suggested reforms would allow migrants that have expired work permits but no other violations to voluntarily surrender to authorities and obtain legal status.

The idea is not new. Migration of the 21st vice president Natalya Vlasovoi said there have been more than 25 such amnesties, though none have been on such a large scale.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – France
Hollande calls limiting economic immigration 'essential'
France 24, 27 April 2012

France's Socialist presidential candidate François Hollande said Friday that limiting illegal immigration during an economic crisis was "essential". Immigration has been a key issue since the far right's strong showing in the election's first round.

French presidential frontrunner Socialist Francois Hollande said Friday it was vital to limit economic immigration in a time of crisis.

"In the period of crisis we are going through, limiting economic immigration is necessary and essential," Hollande told RTL radio.

"I also want to fight illegal immigration on the economic front. It is not right that a certain number of employers, in a cynical way, are hiring illegal migrants," he said.

Hollande reiterated his vow to ask parliament to fix the number of immigrants allowed into France every year.

"I don't think there will ever be zero immigration, there will always be legal immigration. Can we reduce the number? That's a debate," he said.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – racism, USA
The 'Arizonification' of the US immigration debate
Sarahi Uribe
The Guardian, 27 April 2012

While many focused on the US supreme court's consideration of Arizona's SB1070 on Wednesday, events on the streets of Phoenix and not in the court, foreshadow the future of the country's immigration debate. Within the supreme court, a very narrow legal principle was discussed – as to whether Arizona was infringing on the federal government's right to set immigration policy. ...

The simple fact is that SB1070 is merely a symptom of a far greater problem in Arizona where anti-immigrant sentiment has been used as an excuse to codify racism. ... ...

... Before SB1070 was passed, the Latino and immigrant community in Arizona was already facing mass deportations, egregious racial profiling, and state-sanctioned terror. This happened not because of SB1070, but rather through federal deportation programs like the "Secure Communities" program, a cornerstone of the Obama administration's immigration policy. As the Orwellian character of its name implies, "Secure Communities" actually makes people like me, a Latina with immigrant parents, feel insecure, and makes our communities less safe.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – crime, USA
What an alliance between Los Zetas and MS-13 really means
Dave Gibson, 16 April 2012

Mara Salvatrucha or MS-13 has been described by many as the most dangerous gang in America, while Los Zetas is arguably the most violent of Mexico's drug cartels... Now, there is evidence that these two powerful and ruthless organizations have struck a deal which makes both groups even more dangerous to the United States.

MS-13 was formed by Salvadoran, mostly illegal immigrants in the 1980's. While the gang was originally made up exclusively of Salvadorans, they now accept all Central Americans as well as Mexicans. MS stands for Mara (slang for mob), Salva (El Salvador), Trucha (slang for on-guard).

MS-13 began in Los Angeles and as members moved deeper into the country, more loosely structured gangs or cliques were formed. However, these cliques continued to communicate with one another, and the network was formed. ...

According to the FBI, there are at least 70,000 MS-13 gang members operating between Central America and the United States. The FBI also reports that the gang currently operates in 42 states as well as the District of Columbia. ...

MS-13 set up shop in Northern Virginia during the 1990s, lured by the region's fast-growing Salvadoran population, later expanding into the Maryland suburbs of Langley Park and Gaithersburg. ...

The violence which MS-13 perpetrates is unprecedented in this country, and they do not limit their brutality to rival gang members. ...

Los Zetas began as elite enforcers for the Gulf Cartel in their ongoing war with the ultra-powerful Sinaloa Cartel. ...

Los Zetas have earned a reputation as ruthless fighters and have become so emboldened they now regularly announce their dominance around Mexico with so-called 'narco-banners.'

Recently, Guatemalan authorities announced the discovery of an alliance between these two brutal organizations after arresting 50 Zetas believed to be linked to a massacre on a cattle farm in which 25 people were decapitated. ...

With so many MS-13 cells already deeply entrenched in this country, an alliance with the hyper-violent and well trained Zetas is basically tantamount to placing an invading army in several parts of this country, and along with it – the sort of violence now commonplace in Mexico and Central America.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Greece
Poverty can be beaten, hate cannot
Nikos Konstandaras, 12 April 2012

The rise of Chrysi Avgi will seriously damage our society. The whole political system of the past decades conspired – through indifference and stupidity – for such an extremist organization to make it to the brink of entering Parliament.

Successive governments allowed a dangerous vacuum where they should have had a serious immigration policy. Extremist leftist organizations and anarchists established violence and impunity as means of political expression, with the fatal tolerance of the state. The collapse of the state's and governing parties' credibility opened the way for small, dynamic groups to move from the margins to the center of the political scene.

The political system fell into the hole that it had been digging. For years it had ignored the issue of illegal immigration, believing that if it pretended not to see the migrants they would disappear. This cynical indifference succeeded for years, until the moment when there were so many foreign people here that they became a problem in the areas where they congregated. The unavoidable decay of neighborhoods and rising crime led to conflict with local residents. Chrysi Avgi grabbed the chance to present itself as a support network for Greeks, offering help and a sense of security where the state and other political groups were absent. ...

We are a democracy and people will vote whatever they will. But, after the Nazi occupation, after the right-wing junta of 1967-74, facilitating the rise of such an extremist right-wing group shows the magnitude of our society's failure.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Greece, public opinion
Most Greeks support clampdown on illegal immigration, poll shows, 9 April 2012

Ahead of May elections, more than six in 10 Greeks, or 61.7 percent, agree with recent government moves to clamp down on illegal immigration in the country, a poll showed.

A survey of 1,610 Greeks over the age of 18 by Kapa Research SA for To Vima newspaper published Sunday found that 83.4 percent of interviewees believe illegal immigration is a major problem for Greece while 48.3 percent said that the main priority of any immigration policy should be to gradually remove all immigrants from the country, up from 19.5 percent in a similar poll in 2009.

Greece's government plans to create 30 detention centers on the mainland to house illegal immigrants, who don't qualify for asylum, before they are deported, the country's Citizen Protection Ministry said March 27.

More than half of those surveyed by Kapa, or 54.7 percent, said such centers are necessary while 61.7 percent said recent Greek police actions to carry out widespread identification checks and arrests of illegal immigrants is a move in the right direction to control the problem.

Greece will require immigrants to obtain health certificates before being granted work permits and those with contagious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis will be quarantined in medical facilities, Health Minister Andreas Loverdos said April 1. Nearly 72 percent of those surveyed agree with the requirement, the poll showed.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Greece
Frontex Reports 57,000 Illegal Immigrants Crossed the Greek Borders in 2011
Stella Tsolakidou
Greek Reporter, 2 April 2012

Border management alone cannot solve the vast problem of illegal immigration, noted Michal Parzyszek, spokesperson for the European Union Agency Frontex.

In his interview to SKAI broadcasting agency, Mr. Parzyszek underlined the importance of achieving cooperation on a multi-national level. ... ...

According to Frontex, 57,000 illegal immigrants were recorded trying to cross the Greek borders in 2011.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Greece
Is immigration a bigger issue for Greece than the economy?
Nick Malkoutzis
Kathimerini, 31 March 2012

Judging by the content of the debate in Greece over the past few days, one might think that the most pressing issue facing the country ahead of the upcoming general elections is illegal immigration rather than the economy.


... According to the ELIAMEP think tank, in 2011 the country was home to an estimated 1.1 million migrants, who make up roughly 10 percent of the country's population (compared to less than 2 percent in 1990). About 400,000 are thought to be undocumented, which is a very high number for a country as small as Greece. ...

The tendency for undocumented migrants to be drawn to inner-city areas has caused considerable tension. Many Greeks, particularly in downtown Athens neighborhoods, feel threatened by the large numbers of foreigners that have moved into these areas. The fear felt be these residents, often elderly people, should not be discounted. In some neighborhoods, such as Aghios Panteleimonas in Athens a neighborhood escort scheme has been set up so scared residents can call on someone to accompany them when they leave their homes. Rising crime and a general sense of lawlessness, fueled by the incapacity and ineffectiveness of authorities, have turned these districts into breeding grounds for extremism. ...

The recession appears to be stemming the flow of economic migrants to Greece: Just under 100,000 illegal immigrants and traffickers were arrested last year, according to police figures, which is by far the lowest number for the last five years. But authorities estimate that at least 100 undocumented immigrants enter the country every day. Along with Italy, Greece is the main point of entry in the EU for undocumented migrants. Given the deepening recession and the rising tension, it is clear that the government cannot afford to turn a blind eye to illegal immigration and its consequences any longer. It threatens to create a deep rift in Greek society, encourage extremism and blight the future of hundreds of thousands of migrants who live in Greece legally and make a significant contribution to daily life and the economy.

Although PASOK and New Democracy may be right to draw attention to the immigration issue, they clearly have little idea how to tackle it. ... ...

... Similarly, building a fence on the Evros border will do nothing more than inconvenience the trafficking gangs that have made a thriving trade out of ferrying immigrants to Greece for a few thousand euros per head. Greece has more than 15,000 kilometers of coastline (the 19th longest in the world) and some 6,000 islands (more than 200 of which are inhabited) that can provide access points for traffickers. A European Commission spokesman labeled the fence "pointless." ...

One of the options available is to return undocumented migrants and those who do not qualify for asylum to their homelands. Greece began a pilot repatriation scheme last year that saw migrants given 300 euros in cash and a plane ticket home. About 1,200 immigrants returned to their home countries this way in 2011. This year, 2,000 will be repatriated at a cost of 5 million euros, 75 percent of which is covered by the EU. However, this scheme is far too small to address the magnitude of Greece's situation.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – border controls, racial profiling, USA
Obama Administration Rejects Amnesty International Charges that its Immigration Enforcement Violates Human Rights
NumbersUSA, 30 March 2012

A new Amnesty International report criticizes the U.S. government for its treatment of the Hispanic and indigenous communities living along the border, according to The report urged the Homeland Security Department to suspend parts of its border enforcement program until the agency's Inspector General can investigate and make recommendations for improvements.

The Homeland Security Department issued a statement denying allegations of human rights abuses.

"Amnesty International's report is based almost entirely on either outdated information or anonymous anecdotes that can be neither investigated nor resolved," the statement said. "Moreover, the report does not offer thoughtful, actionable recommendations for improvement but instead calls for the wholesale suspension of immigration enforcement programs nationwide."

The Amnesty International report claims that Latinos and those that appear to be of Latino origin are disproportionately affected by immigration enforcement measures.

Homeland Security Department officials say the only program that even comes close to the racial profiling alleged by Amnesty International is the Secure Communities Initiative.

The Secure Communities program requires that the fingerprints of anyone who gets arrested are checked against the federal immigration and FBI criminal records. A match between the records could indicate the person arrested is an illegal alien who should be deported.

Homeland Security Department officials say ethnic discrimination is not the purpose of the Secure Communities Initiative. Instead, the program reduces "the risk of discrimination or racial profiling because the program applies to all who are arrested and booked for crime, including U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents," a Homeland Security Department statement said.

Along with the Homeland Security Department, a denial came from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

"The State of Texas does not have immigration laws. However, DPS officers arrest criminal aliens, regardless of country of origin, when they violate state laws," spokesman Tom Vinger said in a statement.

NumbersUSA President Roy Beck praises the Obama Administration for denouncing the Amnesty International report.

"It is gratifying to see the Obama Administration stand up against the too-prevalent nonsense that enforcing immigration laws generally is a violation of human rights," NumbersUSA President Roy Beck said. "We stand behind the Administration and most of the pro-enforcement community in supporting continuing work to ensure that illegal aliens are treated humanely during the arrest, detention and deportation processes. We regret that the Obama Administration at times feeds the perception that immigration enforcement is a bad thing, such as when it argues against various state immigration enforcement laws."
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Denmark
Illegal immigrants flocking to Denmark
The Copenhagen Post, 30 March 2012

There are enough illegal immigrants in Denmark to populate a medium-sized town, and their numbers are growing, according to estimates from police.

Although pinpointing the exact number of illegal immigrants is difficult, the police approximate that the number is somewhere between 20,000 and 50,000, reports police union magazine Dansk Politi.

Assistant police commissioner Kjeld Farcinsen, who heads the immigration control group in Copenhagen, admitted to Berlingske newspaper that illegal immigration is a growing problem.

"It really doesn't matter where we search, we always seem to find something." Farcinsen said in reference to the random inspections the police undertake.

Officials from tax authority Skat are also aware of a rise in illegal immigration, according to public broadcaster DR.

"We've definitely seen an increase in cases, especially involving people from developing countries," Skat spokesperson Christina Steinmetz told DR. "When we arrive they try and escape through windows and backdoors, obviously indicating that they do not want to talk to us." ...

According to the police union, the problem of illegal immigration is not only rising but lacks the necessary attention in the political forum.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Germany
Police get right to stop 'foreign-looking' travelers
Johanna Schmeller
Deutsche Welle, 29 March 2012

While much of Europe has done away with passport checks, German police received judiciary approval to demand official ID of "foreign-looking" people. Human rights groups call the ruling discriminatory and illegal.

Passengers on trains travelling from Germany to France don't have to show their passports to cross the border, but a ruling from a German administrative court this week allows police to require "foreign-looking" passengers traveling on German trains to produce identification papers regardless of whether they are under suspicion of any wrongdoing. ...

The court said police had authority to check people's identity and residency status based on their appearance to fight illegal immigration. The ruling added that such checks were permitted only on rail lines that could be used to provide illegal entry to Germany or lead to breaches of Germany's Aliens Act.

"For reasons of capacity and efficiency, the federal police are limited to conducting spot checks," the court said in its ruling, adding that the officers were within their rights to use appearance in deciding whom to check.

Police said the ruling would make it easier for them to do their jobs.

"In just the last year, illegal immigration has increased by 20 percent to more than 20,000 confirmed cases," said Josef Scheuring of the German police union, adding that fighting this crime justified stricter controls.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Greece, European Union
Police warning as flood of illegal immigrants doubles in just a year
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 26 March 2012

The number of illegal immigrants caught crossing into the EU across Greece's border with Turkey has almost doubled in 12 months.

Nearly 3,000 people, mainly Afghanis and Pakistanis heading for the UK, were picked up by Greek police in January and February this year – up from 1,600 caught in the same period in 2011.

The astonishing rise comes as Greek government contractors move on the EU's busiest illegal crossing point to build an eight-mile border fence.

But the local police chief has warned that the 13ft-high razor wire barrier will do little more than redirect the illegal traffic around it.

Brigadier Georgios Salamangas, of the Orestiada Police Directorate, said the migrants do not want to stay in Greece but use it as a stepping stone to the UK and other European countries. ...

Almost 90 per cent of all illegal immigration into the EU comes through the agricultural and impoverished area.

In 2009, just 8,800 people were registered as illegal immigrants by Greek police. In 2010 that number shot up to 49,000, prompting the EU's border agency, Frontex, to send a contingent of border guards to help the Greek authorities spot and process the migrants.

But instead of stemming the tide, news of the specialist operation seems to have attracted more illegals who cross the border, wait for the police to pick them up and then claim asylum, knowing they will be treated more humanely with the EU watching.

Last year, 56,000 "irregular migrants", mainly from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Algeria, were picked up in the Evros region at a rate of 155 every day of the year. With Greece in economic meltdown there is little incentive for the migrants to stay in the country, said the policeman.

And because of the EU's passport-free Schengen zone, for anyone trying to get to the UK illegally the Greek border is the biggest obstacle before reaching the English Channel.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Greece
Greece to build migrant holding centres nationwide: official
Focus Information Agency, 22 March 2012

Greece plans to build a network of holding centres nationwide, a senior official said on Thursday, part of plans to address a burgeoning illegal migration problem that has brought racist attacks, AFP reported.

"There will have to be holding centres for foreigners in every geographical region of Greece, all around the country," Eleftherios Economou, general secretary of the Citizen's Protection Ministry, told Skai TV.

"The time has come for solutions. We are applying what already exists in every civilised country, what is already applied in the European Union, we owe it to the citizens and our children," Economou said.

The ministry this week announced plans for a first centre to house 1,000 undocumented migrants at a former army camp in Kozani, northern Greece.

The local community greeted the announcement with unease, with the local mayor warning that the town would not accept being turned into the country's migrant "dumping ground."

Greece, which is currently in the throes of a major economic crisis, is a major hub for illegal immigration to Europe from Turkey and the Middle East.

Authorities are going through some 30,000 asylum requests by migrants and refugees and those rejected will be deported, Economou said.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Asians, USA
Asians fastest-growing race in United States, census finds
Yahoo! News / AFP, 21 March 2012

Asians are the fastest growing race group in the United States, reflecting a surge in immigration from the entire region over a decade, the US Census Bureau said Tuesday.

As part of an ongoing analysis of the data it reaped from its 2010 census, the federal agency said those who identified themselves as Asian alone, and not mixed race, grew by 43.3 percent from a decade earlier.

That was more than four times faster than the rate of growth for the overall US population, which grew 9.7 percent in the same period to 308,745,538.

Some 14.7 million people, or 4.8 percent of the total population, identified themselves as Asian alone. Another 2.6 million, or 0.9 percent, said they were Asian in combination with another race group, most commonly white.

"Net international migration is the biggest component of the change in the Asian population," Elizabeth Hoeffel, a statistician in the Census Bureau's population division, told reporters in a conference call.

For statistical purposes, the United States defines an Asian as someone "having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent."

Those who identified themselves as either Asian alone or Asian mixed with another race grew by at least 30 percent in all states except Hawaii, where they already made up a majority of the population. ...

New York had the biggest Asian population with 1.1 million, followed by Los Angeles (484,000) and San Jose, California (327,000).

Chinese was the largest of all Asian groups (four million, including 700,000 who identified as mixed race), followed by Filipinos (3.4 million) and Asian Indians (3.2 million).
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Canada, costs
Fiscal Transfers to Immigrants in Canada: Responding to Critics and a Revised Estimate
Fraser Institute, 15 March 2012
[The study is by Patrick Grady and Herbert Grubel]

Key findings

• In 2011, we estimated that in 2005 Canada's immigrant selection policies resulted in an average fiscal burden on taxpayers of $6,000 for each immigrant. Later that year, Mohsen Javdani and Krishna Pendakur from the economics department at Simon Fraser University (J&P hereafter) presented an alternative estimate of this fiscal burden of $450.

• This study concludes that J&P's lower estimate is due mainly to their choice of a different immigrant cohort and assumptions about the immigrants' absorption of government spending on pure public goods, education, and public housing.

• After taking into account some new data and some issues raised by J&P, this study presents new estimates that show that the fiscal burden imposed by the average recent immigrants is $6,000, which for all immigrants is a total of between $16 billion and $23 billion per year, figures virtually identical to those found in our earlier study.

• This study also rejects arguments made by J&P that immigrants are needed to meet labour shortages, that they bring productivity-increasing economies of scale, and that their children will repay the fiscal burden. New evidence does not provide any grounds for optimism that the offspring of recent immigrants are going to be able to earn enough to compensate current and future generations of Canadians for the fiscal transfers made to their parents by existing Canadians.

• This study also presents new evidence showing that immigrants who were admitted mainly on the basis of pre-arranged jobs have superior economic performance, which supports the policy recommendation made in our 2011 study.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Norway
Half of Oslo dwellers immigrants by 2040
The Local [Norway], 13 March 2012

Immigrants are set to make up almost half of Oslo's population by 2040, according to Statistics Norway, new figures show, prompting an immediate call for more restrictive immigration policies from Progress Party leader Siv Jensen.

In less than 30 years from now, 70 percent of the Norwegian capital's first and second generation immigrants will have their roots in countries outside the 30-member European Economic Area, Statistics Norway said.

The study, the first ever projection of immigration trends to be published in Norway, shows that the largest cities will also see the biggest upsurge in immigrant numbers.

Immigrants are defined in the statistics as either people who have either moved to Norway from another country, or the Norway-born children of two first-generation immigrants.

According to Statistics Norway's most likely scenario, Oslo's immigrant population will rise from today's 28 percent to 47 percent in 2040.

In the country as a whole, the immigrant population is expected to jump from 12 to 24 percent, or from 600,000 people today to 1.5 million in 2040.

For Siv Jensen, the trend is deeply worrying.

"For far too long Norway has been an attractive country for asylum seekers and immigrants. The Progress Party believes it's high time for more restrictive policies," she said. ...

"We must admit that there are major differences in the types of integration challenges posed by different immigrants.

"Norway still has a major need for workers, and labour-market immigration from Eastern Europe presents completely different integration challenges than immigration from Eastern Africa," said Jensen.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Australia
Taxpayers will fork out at least $60 million in free legal advice for asylum seekers this year
Steve Lewis / The Daily Telegraph, 12 March 2012

Taxpayers will fork out at least $60 million in free legal advice for asylum seekers this year as new figures reveal 80 per cent of detainees are winning their appeal for refugee status.

A Daily Telegraph investigation can reveal $32 million has been paid to 22 refugee legal firms since July - and the surge in boat arrivals is likely to swell their slice of the immigration budget.

And Labor's immigration review scheme is on track to cost up to $30 million as record numbers of asylum seekers use courts to challenge refugee visa rejections. ...

Just $220,000 was spent on the Independent Merits Review scheme in 2009-10 but this increased to $12 million in 2010-11 and $6 million was spent in the three months to September 30, 2011.

The opposition dubbed it the "Hotel California" scheme with the firm message to asylum seekers that "once you're here, you'll never have to leave".

New figures show the proportion of asylum seekers winning their appeals to become refugees has jumped from 46.8 per cent in 2009-10 to 79.3 per cent.

The department anticipated the scheme cost $22.8 million in 2010-11, with most of this ($19.4 million) allocated to help asylum seekers.

In eight months this financial year, the government has forked out $32.6 million in IAAAS funding, according to figures from the Commonwealth's tender website.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – France, borders
Sarkozy threatens to withdraw from Schengen accord
BBC, 11 March 2012

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has threatened to withdraw from Europe's open border zone unless more is done to stop illegal immigration.

Speaking at a Paris campaign rally, the president said that reform was the only way to avoid the "implosion" of Europe.

He said that unless there is progress in the next 12 months, then France would suspend participation in the Schengen agreement.

The accord allows passport-free travel among 25 European nations.

Illegal immigration has been a key issue ahead of the presidential election.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA
Immigrant Tracking System Ready Soon According to Homeland Security
SBWire /, 10 March 2012

In a statement before the House of Representatives Homeland Security subcommittee, the Department of Homeland Security is now on the final stages of its biometric data system. This new system would be able to keep tabs on immigrants when they leave the United States. ...

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement is the agency primarily responsible for deporting illegal immigrants. Their agents comb through visa records to assist in identification of individuals that have overstayed in the country and undertake deportation proceedings considered threats to the national security or community.

As of the latest statistics, 37,000 individuals with expired visas have been deported between 2009 and 2011. There is a current backlog of 1.6 million of suspected overstaying individuals since 2004. Nearly half of these individuals have left the country or applied to change their immigration status. The other half is still under review as these were deemed national security threats as priorities for deportation.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – world migration
Religious affiliation of international migrants
Homeland Security NewsWire, 8 March 2012

An estimated 214 million people – about 3 percent of the world's population – have migrated across international borders as of 2010. While the percentage may seem small, if the migrants were counted as one nation, they would constitute the fifth most populous country in the world, just behind Indonesia and ahead of Brazil.

A Pew Research study found that nearly half of these migrants (49 percent) are Christians, and the top country of origin has been Mexico, followed by Russia and the Ukraine where borders changed after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The second-largest group of migrants are Muslims (27 percent), among whom the largest share has come from the Palestinian territories, followed by Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India.

Jewish migrants represent a smaller share of the total number of those who have crossed international borders to a new destination country. Relative to their numbers, however, they have by far the highest level of migration compared with other religious groups. About one-quarter of Jews alive today have left their birth country and now live somewhere else.

The study also found that while migrants come from a very diverse and widespread array of countries, the vast majority end up immigrating to a relatively few areas – North America, Europe, Australia, and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – world migration
Jews are the world's most migratory religious group
Lauren Markoe
USA Today, 8 March 2012

Ever since their mad dash out of Egypt bound for the Promised Land, Jews have been on the move – and they continue to be, far more than any other religious group, according to a new study.

One in four of the world's Jews has migrated from one country to another, compared to 5% of Christians and 4% of Muslims who have left their native lands.

The findings are part of a comprehensive new study on religion and global migration, released Thursday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, which tracked the journeys of the world's 214 million migrants. ...

As for the Jews, Sarna said, the vast majority of world Jewry lives in one of two countries. Of the 13.3 million Jews worldwide, 43% live in Israel and 39% live in the United States. ...

Of all Christians alive today, 106 million have switched countries, and their top destination is the United States.

Of the 43 million foreign-born people living in the United States in 2010, an estimated 74% are Christian, according to the study's authors, who combed census data and other studies to compile their findings.

Mexico, a largely Catholic country, is the biggest "donor" nation of Christians to the U.S., with 12 million Mexican immigrants – both documented and undocumented – making their home north of the border.

As for other trends in migration to the United States, this nation is:

• The No. 1 destination for Buddhists. About 1.7 million foreign-born Buddhists live in the United States, many of them from Vietnam.

• The top stop for immigrants with no religion, about 4.4 million people, many of who come from China.

• Second after India for its number of Hindu migrants, who number 1.3 million in the U.S.

Among Muslims, the U.S. ranks seventh as a destination, after Saudi Arabia, Russia, Germany, France, Jordan and Pakistan. There are about 2 million Muslim immigrants now living in United States, according to the study.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – France
Nicolas Sarkozy says France has too many foreigners
BBC, 7 March 2012

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said there are too many foreigners in France and the system for integrating them is "working worse and worse".

In a TV debate, Mr Sarkozy defended his plan to almost halve the number of new arrivals if re-elected next month.

Mr Sarkozy is trailing in the opinion polls behind the Socialist candidate Francois Hollande.

He is also competing for conservative voters with the far-right National Front party led by Marine le Pen.

The president said while immigration could be a boon for France, it needed to be controlled more tightly through tougher qualification rules for residency.

Mr Sarkozy, whose father was a Hungarian immigrant, also said he wanted to restrict some benefit payments to immigrants who had been in the country for 10 years. ...

He has said that if re-elected, he will reduce the number of immigrants to France from 180,000 a year to 100,000 and introduce tighter controls on access to welfare benefits.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Sweden
Sweden Democrats in bid to 'help' immigrants leave
The Local [Sweden], 6 March 2012

The Sweden Democrats' youth wing wants to entice jobless immigrants to leave the country by offering them "goodie bags" complete with tips on how to facilitate immigrants' departure.

The project, entitled "There's no place like home" ('Borta bra men hemma bäst'), is designed to allow immigrants the opportunity to better understand the options and possibilities available to help them return to their home soil.

"We are convinced that among the many immigrants in Sweden who have ended up in alienation and social isolation the dream of being able to go back to their home land and reunite with their countrymen is still alive," wrote the Sweden Democrat youth organization (Sverigedemokratisk Ungdom - SDU) in a statement.

Plans call for the party to distribute 10,000 "goodie bags" filled with USB memory sticks, DVDs, and other information in various languages about how to apply for repatriation grants.

In order to pay for the project, the SDU has applied for 100,000 kronor ($14,957) from the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket), which allows any organization to seek support for repatriation projects.

Should the funding request be approved, the SDU plans on targeting immigrants who have been granted permanent residency in Sweden but have not paid taxes over the past ten years.

"It's aimed at those who haven't succeeded in getting a job and fitting in to Swedish culture," SDU head Gustav Kasselstrand told the Expressen newspaper.

But Migration Board spokesperson Johan Rahm dismissed the SDU bid as mere "propaganda".

"This looks more like some sort of propaganda statement where they're trying to persuade people to go back," he told Sveriges Radio (SR).

According to Rahm, the agency generally receives funding requests from organizations with "deep" ties to other countries that are focused on helping diaspora populations and people that were forced to flee from their home countries.

Speaking with Expressen, Rahm argued that SDU's plans were "a way to draw attention to their politics, not to help people who dream of returning" to their home countries.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – birth tourism, Canada
Tory crackdown on 'birth tourists' will eliminate Canadian passport babies
Joseph Brean
National Post, 6 March 2012

The law that anyone born in Canada is automatically Canadian is an "outdated" relic from a time when immigrants arrived on a one-way boat ticket, and it leaves Canada's modern welfare state open to exploitation by "birth tourists," according to Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.

Known in legal circles by the Latin name jus soli, or right of soil, as opposed to jus sanguinis, or right of blood, the citizenship policy is unique, among developed nations, to Canada and the United States. All other countries that take in immigrants base their citizenship on blood, and require at least one parent to be a citizen, or to have lived there for a certain time, in order to confer citizenship on the child.

"I think [automatic citizenship by place of birth] is outdated in this respect. When we established that legal approach, specifically in the 1947 Citizenship Act, most immigrants, if they came to Canada, they were not going back. People would come by sea, and they would leave behind their countries of origin, and rarely if ever have the chance to go back," Mr. Kenney said in an interview Monday about his proposal to scrap jus soli by the end of the year.

"With today's inexpensive and rapid modern travel, someone can fly in for a couple of weeks, have a child and fly out, and otherwise never actually live in the country and have no intention of doing so, but establish a basis for the family to become Canadian permanent residents," he said. "So it strikes me that times have changed and perhaps we should modernize our approach to reflect the international norm and the vulnerability we have to people who want to cut the corners."

The issue of birth tourism, or "passport babies," came to light most recently in reports of a scam in China, in which crooked immigration consultants coach women on how to avoid detection of their pregnancy at the border, and then to lie low until they give birth to an automatically Canadian child, who can then take advantage of Canada's health care and education, and sponsor his parents when he turns 18.

It is a perennial issue, and previous immigration ministers, Liberal and Tory, have made similar proposals for similar reasons, with little in the way of results. ... ...

"We don't have reliable statistics on this because the provinces just don't keep those numbers. It's hard to quantify," Mr. Kenney said. "But my view is that regardless of how often it happens, it undermines the value of Canadian citizenship." ...

America guarantees the right to automatic citizenship under the 14th Amendment, and the issue of so-called anchor babies has been a major theme of its immigration debates, and led to calls for similar change.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Canada
Kenney announces controversial new immigration policies
Peter O'Neil
The Gazette [Montreal], 1 March 2012

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney raised the spectre of Europe-style tensions over multiculturalism in Canada Thursday while proposing new measures to boost the economic prospects of new Canadians.

His proposals includes a greater private sector role in immigrant selection and, in a move one immigration lawyer said would be controversial, more emphasis on the English or French proficiency of immigrants' spouses.

He also elaborated on his recent warning to provincial governments including Alberta and B.C. that he won't expand the Provincial Nominee program until that program is reformed.

"If we can improve the economic outcomes of immigrants, debates over the degree of their social integration would virtually disappear," Kenney said in a speech in Toronto.

Kenney also said the steps the government has taken to improve the "integrity" of the immigration and refugee system are essential.

"We don't have to look very far to see what happens when that integrity is undermined," he said.

"It's happened across Europe and even to some extent in the United States, where public support for the entire immigration system has fallen after widespread illegal migration and consequent abuse of public resources have gone unchecked.

"I never want to get to that point."

Kenney, after noting the comparatively poor performance of immigrants in recent decades, said he is considering proposals to adjust the points system for skilled workers to put greater emphasis on youth with "high-quality credentials." ...

New Democratic Party immigration critic Don Davies said Kenney exaggerated Thursday the government's progress on reducing immigration backlogs, and said the minister has failed to substantially improve the ability of immigrant professionals to get their credentials recognized.

He also said Kenney is allowing far too many low-wage temporary foreign workers.

Immigration lawyer Richard Kurland praised Kenney's proposed moves, saying a more "nimble" system that lets the private sector play a bigger role is replacing the old "supertanker" model.

"The policy driver behind these changes is simple," he said in an email.

"Today, fundamental design change is being driven by common sense backed by hard data. In the past, it was more about politics and lobbyists, and that was the recipe that led to undisclosed government policy decisions like curtailing the processing of parents and grandparents, unfair processing times, and ballooning backlogs across the board."

But he said a move to a British-style requirement that spouses should speak one of the official languages will cause a stir.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – multiculturalism, Islam, USA
Number of U.S. mosques up 74% since 2000
Cathy Lynn Grossman
USA Today, 29 February 2012

The number of Islamic places of worship in the United States soared 74% in the past decade.

While protests against new mosques in New York, Tennessee and California made headlines, the overall number of mosques quietly rose from 1,209 in 2000 to 2,106 in 2010.

And most of their leaders say American society is not hostile to Islam, according to a comprehensive census of U.S. mosques and survey of imams, mosque presidents and board members released Wednesday.

"This is a very healthy community," said lead researcher and study author Ihsan Bagby, an associate professor of Islamic studies at the University of Kentucky. ...

The study – The American Mosque 2011 – was sponsored by the Hartford Institute for Religion Research (Hartford Seminary), the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies, as well as the nation's largest Islamic civic and religious groups, including the Islamic Society of North America and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Major findings include:

• States with the most mosques are New York (257), California (246) and Texas (166). ...

• Mosques are ethnically diverse. The major participants are South Asians, Arabs and African Americans, with growing numbers of new immigrants including Somalis, West Africans and Iraqis. The study did not include Nation of Islam mosques because it is a separate religion.

• Most mosque leaders (87%) say "radicalism and extremism" are not increasing among Muslim youth, "in their own experience." They say the greater challenge is "attracting and keeping them close to the mosque." ...

Although the study does not claim to say how many Muslims are in the USA, Bagby estimates there are 2.6 million "mosque participants" – people who have attended prayers for Eid (a major holy day) or Friday prayers or were considered participants by the mosque leader survey.

Bagby says he reached the number by taking mosque attendance reported by the leadership and multiplying the average number of attendees by the number of mosques.

Bagby's report concludes, "If there are 2.6 million Muslims who pray the Eid prayer, then the total Muslim population should be closer to estimates (by Bagby) of up to 7 million."

No other survey projects even 3 million Muslims in the USA.

For example, a 2010 survey on global Muslim population by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found there were 2.6 million Muslims, including adults and children, in the country. And a 2011 survey by the same research group found 2.75 million Muslims, including 1.8 million adults.

Bagby disputes other studies, saying they underestimate because they are based on random phone interviews and many Muslims, particularly immigrants, will not discuss their religion with a stranger on the phone.

However, the Pew research, which included phone interviews in four languages, also synthesized data from the Census Bureau and immigration authorities. Pew used country-of-birth information with data from surveys on the percentage of people from each country, or group of countries, who belong to various faiths.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – marriage, Vietnam, Koreans, Cambodia
Vietnam to ban marriage with Korean men aged 50 years or older
The Korea Times, 17 February 2012

Vietnamese authorities have recently enacted strict measures to prohibit young Vietnamese women from marrying Korean men over the age of 50 beginning as early as April, a local association of international marriage brokers said Friday.

The move comes as such a matchmaking practice common among international marriage brokers continues to draw strong criticism from women's groups and human rights advocates for its similarities to human trafficking practices. ...

The reportedly agreed upon measures also prohibit marriages between Korean-Vietnamese couples who have age gaps of more than 16 years, according to Han.

International brokers' marriage arrangements, primarily between middle-age men and young foreign brides from Southeast Asian nations in search of new opportunities outside of their home countries, have frequently been criticized and labeled as human trafficking. ...

"The measures are believed to have been taken as Vietnam's quasi-government union of women reacted critically to side effects of such international marriages," Han said. "They will likely lead to a sharp drop in local marriages with Vietnamese women."

Kim Seong-chul, an official of the local Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, said the country should wait and see whether Vietnam implements any binding measures over the international marriage issue.

According to official data, 37,335 Vietnamese women are legally residing in Korea through marriages with Korean men. The Vietnamese spouses account for about one fourth of the total population of foreign spouses here.

Amid rising concerns over such marriage arrangements, Cambodia also introduced tighter regulations, banning marriages between Cambodian women and Korean men over the age of 50 that have a monthly income of less than $2,550.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – illegal immigration, USA
A little honesty about illegal immigration
Victor Davis Hanson
The Washington Times, 16 February 2012

President Obama recently assured El Salvador that the United States would not deport more of the 200,000 Salvadorans residing illegally in the United States. As the election nears and the president looks to court Hispanic voters, he also created a new position of "public advocate" for illegal immigrants. That official's duties would appear to be to advocate that millions circumvent, rather than follow, current federal law.

The administration also has said it will focus enforcement only on those who have committed crimes - with the implicit understanding that it is no longer a crime to illegally enter and reside in the United States. ... ...

True, American employers have welcomed illegal aliens as a source of cheap labor. Employers were happy to pass on the ensuing social costs to taxpayers. ... ...

More important, we forget that the influx of millions of illegal aliens unfairly undercuts the wages of the working American poor, especially in times of high unemployment.

Crossing the border also was hardly a one-time "infraction." ...

The legal process of immigrating to America was reduced to a free-for-all rush to the border. Millions of applicants abroad wait patiently, if not naively, in line to have their education, skills and capital resources evaluated. But they are punished with delay or rejection because they alone follow immigration law.

Billions of dollars in state and federal social services do not just help provide parity to illegal aliens but also free them to send back about $50 billion in remittances to Latin America each year. That staggering sum also suggests that Mexico and other Latin American governments, as an element of national policy, quite cynically export human capital in exchange for U.S. dollars rather than make the necessary economic, social and political reforms to keep their own at home.

Nor is it very liberal to turn illegal immigration into an issue of identity and tribal politics. Too many advocates for open borders and amnesty argue about the politics of ethnic solidarity rather than considerations of immigration law. ...

How reactionary and illiberal that debate has become, when Mexican-Americans who object to the undermining of immigration law are slandered as sellouts, while non-Hispanics who do the same are smeared as racists and nativists. ...

To mean anything, laws have to be followed. When newcomers choose to ignore them, the entire structure of jurisprudence crashes as well. If aliens are free to ignore federal immigration law, cannot citizens likewise pick and choose which statutes they find inconvenient?

Finally, illegal immigration has wrongly been couched in terms of a xenophobic and insensitive exploiter preying on a more noble and defenseless guest. In truth, the United States is the most generous host in the world and never more so than during the present age.

There are about 40 million foreign-born people residing in the United States, both legal and illegal immigrants. That is both the greatest absolute number and the greatest percentage of the population in our nation's history. No other country in the world is more liberal in its legal immigration policies or has been more caring toward new arrivals.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – India
India's 'Mexican' Problem: Illegal Immigration from Bangladesh
Palash R. Ghosh
International Business Times, 7 February 2012

Illegal immigration is not only a huge problem in western, advanced countries, but also in some parts of the developing world.

Consider what has been happening in India.

Since the 1971 war of independence that created the state of Bangladesh, millions of Bangladeshi immigrants (the vast majority of them illegal) have poured into neighboring India.

While the Indian government has tried to deport some of these immigrants, the sheer number of them, as well as the porous border between the two countries, has made such an enterprise impossible.

It is difficult to assess how many illegal immigrants are currently residing in India. Consider that in 1971, during the civil war in neighboring East Pakistan (the former name of Bangladesh), at least 10-million Bangladeshis poured into West Bengal in India. The majority of those migrants were Hindus fleeing persecution (rape, murder, forced conversion, etc.) from Muslims.

In subsequent years, the bulk of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh were Muslims seeking to escape poverty.

India's Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran said last summer that almost 1.4-million illegal Bangladeshis have migrated to India over the past decade alone. ...

Concern Universal, an international NGO, estimates that 50 Bangladeshis cross illegally into India every day.

Indians scholars have also expressed their outrage over unrestricted immigration from Bangladesh.

Indian historian Amalendu De noted: "There is a virtual East Bengal in West Bengal. Immigrants, both Hindus and Muslims, have come from across the border and settled in districts which share borders with Bangladesh and have slowly penetrated into other districts." ...

West Bengal has long been ruled by a leftist, Communist government, which sympathized with illegal immigration and reportedly even encouraged it. ...

An Indian Hindu nationalist website boldly states: "[The] only option for Bengali Hindus of Islamic Bangladesh and India now is to have a united homeland free from Muslims or soon like Bangladesh, east India is going to be 'Hindu minority' and a colony of Bangladesh! Due to social and religious development, Hindu Bengalis have [fewer] children than Muslims... [The] growing illegal [population of] Bangladeshi Muslim infiltrators along with local Muslims have almost turned eastern India into 40 percent Muslim. So all Bengali Hindus need to be settled in West Bengal of secular India, along with [the] expulsion of at least all Bangladeshi Muslim migrants from here. This can be achieved soon or Bengali Hindu as a race will die." ...

The group complains that, among other things, "refugees occupy 200,000 jobs in the jute mills, leaving thousands of local Bengalis without jobs or means of survival. Millions of rupees leave Bengal annually. Nearly 70 percent of the land and homes of Kolkata are owned by non-Bengalis. ..."
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA, politics
Race and Beyond: Demographics Could Reshape Politics
Sam Fulwood III, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund
Center for American Progress Action Fund, 24 January 2012

Stefan Hankin, president of Lincoln Park Strategies, a Washington-based public opinion research firm that advises progressive organizations and Democratic politicians, told me recently that "[t]he future for progressive policies is not about 2012 or the next election in two years. It's about growing the future and seeing where the path leads us."

The path that Hankin referred to is the fact that within the next 40 years, possibly sooner, the nation will no longer have a majority white population. In a study that his firm released late last year, Hankin noted that the U.S. population will grow by 19 percent over the next two decades, but such growth will not be spread evenly over all racial groups. Whites will increase almost 4 percent, which pales in comparison to the 63 percent growth rates of Latinos, 55 percent growth of Asians, and the 27 percent increase in the number of blacks. By 2050 the Census Bureau estimates that white Americans will be a statistical minority in the nation, with no racial group comprising more than 50 percent of the population.

To be sure, demography isn't destiny. But the uneven racial and ethnic population growth of the future could very well reshape the course of presidential politics for generations to come.

To test this hypothesis the Lincoln Park report undertook a speculative, albeit credible, racial analysis of projected state-by-state voting patterns. ... ...

My colleagues Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin believe the demographic struggle is already shaping presidential politics. In a fascinating paper, "The Path to 270: Demographics versus Economics in the 2012 Presidential Election," they argue that the outcome of the current election will reflect the demographic changes buffeting the nation. ...

Of course, I have no clue about the personalities or issues that will be in play in the presidential campaigns of 2024 or 2032. But I'm convinced whoever is running is unlikely to engage in the nasty, race-baiting tactics that some of the conservative wannabes are currently employing. I feel fairly certain about this because the inevitable march of demographic change that's ongoing in the United States suggests that the future electorate won't reward a candidate who sows racial animosity in an increasingly diverse America.

If I'm right then it raises a question that bears asking today of the Republican establishment that so desperately wants to win back the White House: If sweeping racial and demographic change is washing over the nation, why do you tolerate your leading candidates' backward-looking, divisive, and race-baiting campaigns? Don't you realize that such behavior threatens the future survival of the GOP?
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Libya, Europe
Libya not Europe's border guard
News24 / AFP, 24 January 2012

Libyan Interior Minister Fawzi Abdelali said on Tuesday his country will not be the border guard of Europe, citing "enormous problems" over the influx of thousands of illegal immigrants.

"Libya needs a lot of means to control [immigration]. Libya is not the border guard of Europe," he told a news conference.

Abdelali called upon Europe and neighbouring countries to help deal with the flow of immigrants.

He specifically asked for help to rehabilitate 19 detention centres and a system of border surveillance. ...

For years, Libya has been a destination and a transit country to European shores for hundreds of thousands of African immigrants.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Italy, employment, repatriation
Italy's Bad Economy Leaves Immigrants Vulnerable
Sylvia Poggioli
NPR, 17 January 2012

With the economic crisis worsening, there are signs xenophobia could increase as Italians start to compete with immigrants for a slice of the shrinking economic pie. ...

Immigrants now face an even worse prospect: Italian legislation – severely criticized by the EU – stipulates that foreigners without a job for six months must be expelled together with their entire families, even those who settled here decades ago.

Several hundred-thousand legal immigrants now risk losing their papers. The new government of Prime Minister Mario Monti wants to give them a reprieve and give them a year to find a new job. But the government faces strong opposition in Parliament from the Northern League and its conservative allies.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Netherlands, Islam
Muslim Party Seeks Power In Dutch Parliament
Abigail R. Esman
Forbes, 16 January 2012

The Dutch Muslim Party has announced plans to seek seats in the Dutch Parliament. The party already has a hold in regional governments in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and other Dutch cities.

The Partij Voor Moslim Nederland (Party for Muslim Netherlands), as it calls itself when it is not referring to itself as The Dutch Muslim Party (note the strong differences in meaning), campaigns on an anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, and anti-discrimination platform. It hopes to take part in Parliamentary elections in 2015.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Brazil
Brazil may change immigration policy amid influx of immigrants
Xinhua, 14 January 2012

Brazil may have to change its immigration policy to deal with the country's influx of immigrants, Brazil's Defense Minister Celso Amorim said Friday.

Brazil's growing prosperity makes it more attractive to immigrants, Amorim said, and the country must adapt to this new reality.

"People used to want to leave Brazil, but now Brazil is better, and people want to come here. Naturally, we must learn how to act in face of this new situation," he said.

Since 2009, the number of foreigners living in Brazil has increased 50 percent to 1.46 million. The requests for permanent resident visas and naturalization have doubled from 2008 to 2010. ...

Also, security at Brazil's northern borders will be tightened to prevent more illegal immigrants from entering the country.
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Immigration abroad – Israel, citizenship, marriage
Israel citizenship ruling slammed as 'racist'
The Vancouver Sun / Agence France-Presse, 12 January 2012

Israeli rights groups and parliamentarians on Thursday criticized a court ruling upholding a law that prevents Palestinians married to Arab Israelis from obtaining Israeli citizenship or residency. ...

At present, Palestinian men over 35 and women over 25 married to Israeli citizens can only obtain short-term permits to be in Israel.

They have limited permission to work, but the permits must be regularly reviewed and they get no social benefits.

The petitioners said the law violated the right of Palestinians married to Arab-Israelis to a family life, but in a late-night ruling, the Supreme Court said human rights could not override security concerns.

Six judges backed the controversial law, while five were opposed.

"Human rights are not a prescription for national suicide," wrote Justice Asher Grunis, who is poised to become the next Supreme Court president. ...

In July 2003, parliament adopted a law limiting the right of non-nationals to residency in the Jewish state, blocking citizenship for Palestinians married to Arab-Israelis. ...

Zeev Elkin, an MP with the right-wing Likud party, welcomed the court's demonstration of "common sense" but expressed concern "that almost half of the Supreme Court judges thought it was possible to open the gates of Israel to tens of thousands of Palestinians" who were trying "to implement the right of return by stealth through marriages of convenience."
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Israel
Israel OKs harsh penalties for illegal migrants
Amy Teibel
Associated Press, 10 January 2012

Israel's parliament on Tuesday approved harsh new penalties on illegal migrants and Israelis who help them, passing one of several controversial measures designed to stanch the flood of Africans seeking sanctuary from poverty and conflict.

The bill makes it possible to imprison illegal migrants for life over property crimes and detain them for up to three years without trial. Anyone caught helping migrants could face prison terms of five to 15 years.

Critics deplore the new law and say it is an unconstitutional trampling of human rights. They accuse the government of failing to formulate a coherent, humane policy on illegal migration that would address an issue that has become increasingly urgent over the years. ...

Africans began trickling into Israel through its porous southern border with Egypt's Sinai desert after Egyptian security forces violently quashed a demonstration by a group of Sudanese refugees in 2005, killing at least 20. The number of migrants surged as word spread of safety and job opportunities in the relatively prosperous Jewish state.

The government estimates 50,000 Africans have illegally entered Israel since. The overwhelming majority, officials say, have come in pursuit of a more comfortable life and are not fleeing persecution.

Migrant advocates contend the Africans are bona fide refugees and should be granted asylum. They accuse the government of ignoring the retribution most of the migrants face should they return home. ...

Last month, the Cabinet voted to finance a $160 million program to finish building a 150-mile (250-kilometer) border fence along the Egyptian border and expand detention facilities to hold thousands of new arrivals. Employers who hire illegal migrants now face stiffened fines of up to $18,000.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – France, deportation, multiculturalism
We kicked out more illegal immigrants than ever before in 2011: France reveals it deported 33,000 people in just 12 months
Rebecca Seales
Daily Mail, 10 January 2012

France expelled more illegal immigrants last year than ever before, its government announced today.

Interior minister Claude Gueant told a press conference that the French authorities removed 32,912 illegal immigrants in 2011, up 17.5 per cent from 2010.

'This result is 5,000 higher than the initial objective decided upon at the start of the year. It is the highest result ever achieved,' he said.

Mr Gueant, a close ally of President Sarkozy and a well-known hardliner on immigration, said he wants the number of expulsions to rise to 35,000 this year.

He also vowed to significantly reduce legal immigration.

Mr Gueant added that immigrants who want to stay in France will have to shed traditions which contradict French values, saying: 'We reject ... cloistered lives lived along ethnic and religious grounds, those that live by their own laws.

'The foreigners that we welcome here must integrate themselves. It is up to them to adapt to us, not the other way around.' ...

The number of residency permits issued last year shrank 3.6 percent to 182,595, the interior minister said.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Pakistan
5 million illegal immigrants residing in Pakistan, NA told
Ijaz Kakakhel
Daily Times [Pakistan], 7 January 2012

The National Assembly was told on Friday that about five million illegal immigrants were residing in different parts of the country due to local and regional disturbances.

In a written statement, the Ministry of Interior told the NA that out of the five million illegal immigrants, approximately two million were Bangladeshis, 2.5 million were Afghans, and 0.5 million other nationals, including Africans, Iranians, Iraqis and Myanmarese, who had been living in the country for more than three decades. ...

The NA was told that the government had taken a number of measures to discourage the inflow of illegal immigrants, including establishment of Anti-Trafficking Units at provincial police headquarters for combating internal human trafficking.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Pakistan, Karachi
To Live and Die in Karachi
Andrew Marshall
Time, 16 January 2012
[This magazine is published more than a week before the date it carries]

Karachi is doomed. Karachi is indestructible.

Drink tea with Hussein Hazari at his tiny shop in the city's old quarter, and both statements feel true. ...

... More than a thousand people died last year in ethnic turf wars fueled by heavily armed supporters of Karachi's main political parties, perishing in street battles fought with assault rifles, machine guns and grenades. Some victims were decapitated. ...

... With a population of 18 million, it is Pakistan's largest city and commercial capital, providing at least half its tax revenues. ... ...

Unsurprisingly, British author, academic and terrorism analyst Anatol Lieven calls Pakistan "perhaps the biggest and wobbliest domino on the world stage." And the most dramatic symbol of that instability is Karachi. A recent surge in violence has sealed its reputation as life-threatening and unlivable. ... ...

Take away political violence, and Karachi is still plagued by the common variety – armed robbery, kidnappings for ransom, murder – with only 30,000 underpaid police to tackle it all. ... ...

War, trade and migration shaped modern Karachi and shape it still. Its natural harbor and accessibility to the interior of Sindh province (of which Karachi is the capital) and Central Asia ensured its rapid expansion during British colonial times. By the early 1940s, it was a predominantly Sindhi-speaking city of fewer than 500,000 people, half of them Hindus. Then came the bloody partition of India in 1947. Most of Karachi's Hindus fled to India, while huge numbers of India's Urdu-speaking Muslims sought refuge in Karachi. By the 1950s this influx had tripled the city's population, which continues to multiply. According to a projection by the Asian Development Bank, Karachi could be home to at least 26 million by 2020. ...

In short, Karachi is riven by complex ethnic and political fault lines, which intersect bafflingly with local criminal interests and national affairs. ... ...

The gulf between Karachi's political leaders is mirrored on the streets. "Employers only give jobs to members of their own ethnic group," says Abdul Ahad, a Kashmiri resident of the Mohajir-dominated district of Nazimabad. "People have stopped trusting one another."
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – France, Roma
French crack down on Roma gangs
Christian Fraser
BBC, 6 January 2012

On the platforms of the Gare du Nord in Paris, the French and Romanian police are now patrolling together.

It is election year in France and the long-running controversy surrounding Roma is exercising politicians again.

There is renewed focus on law and order, centred on those responsible for a disproportionate level of crime. ...

Yet in the Gare du Nord, there are several teams of beggars and pickpockets working the concourse, most too young to be expelled. Their unscrupulous, invisible gang-masters who lurk nearby, know it.

Some of these children have been arrested a number of times and the authorities are powerless to act. It is the Fagin-like bosses they must catch.

Since last summer, the French government has been working with the Romanian authorities to repatriate thousands of Roma travellers.

In fact, research shows that most of those residing in France are from Romania - not Hungary, Poland, or the Czech Republic where there are sizeable Roma populations.

Professor Tommaso Vitale from Sciences Po university and a specialist on Roma migration says you can also pinpoint which cities these people come from, which would suggest this problem could be better handled.

"This particular campaign [from 18 months ago] doesn't work," he says.

"We are talking about 15,000 people, a very small number of people. Albeit they are highly visible, identified constantly in the media. From that number maybe 2,000 - 2,300 maximum were sent home.

"They were happy to take the 200 euros they were given to return. It was used to go home on holiday - the evidence suggests most came straight back to France."
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Bulgaria, Turks
Anti-Baby Pill Father Laments Bulgaria's Demographic Bust, 2 January 2012

The chemist who made possible the invention of the birth control pill has prescribed a controversial cure to reverse Bulgaria's demographic decline – Turkish migrants.

Speaking in an interview for the Bulgarian daily 24 Hours, Carl Djerassi said his invention was not to blame for the demographic imbalance in Europe, which was a result of a mixture of factors. The solution, according to him, lies in leading an intelligent immigration policy.

"One of the options for Bulgaria is to welcome migrants from Turkey. This is not as weird as it sounds – both countries lie on the route connecting Asia and Europe, besides Bulgaria has a big Turkish minority which is fairly well integrated," Djerassi, who is of Bulgarian origin, said.

"I am not talking about fundamentalists who may threaten the ethnic peace, but for people, who may find the chance to live in Bulgaria attractive," he added.

Djerassi, now 88 years old, was one of three researchers whose formulation of the synthetic progestagen Norethisterone marked a key step in the creation of the first oral contraceptive pill. He has repeatedly said that young Europeans who fail to procreate are committing national suicide.
[Site link]



Multiculturalism – mixed marriages
2012 Recap. Mixed marriages - good or bad?
Daria Manina
Voice of Russia, 29 December 2012

Sociologists say that the number of marriages between representatives of various ethnic and religious groups is growing. The opinions about mixed marriages are split. In countries with unsettled migrant issues the above-mentioned issue is very acute.

Two opinions prevail in the assessment of mixed marriages. Some people believe that such marriages are a motor of progress. They believe that children born to such families are cleverer and more beautiful. Besides, national borders become non-existent in such marriages. An age psychologist, Anzhela Kalistratova, says:

"There is a certain plus for children in such marriages. They learn more about the culture of different peoples and their spiritual world becomes richer. They see that what matters here is a person's character, not nationality. Thus, children become more tolerant and adequate in this aspect. In the future they will be absolutely tolerant towards mixed marriages."

However, there are other points of view. In mixed marriages national traditions prevail one way or another, sociologists say, Hence, a child has to make a choice. Assistant Professor at the Department of Family Sociology and Demography at the Sociological Faculty at the Lomonosov Moscow State University (MGU) Alexander Sinelnikov says:

"One must not think that mixed marriages lead to the emergence of mankind without nationality. Finally, children will face a task to choose a nationality, and it may happen that the society will regard them as their own or will regard them as aliens. As a result, they suffer."

Geneticists are sending alarming signals too, saying that if parents were brought up in the different from the point of view of ecology and climate zones, their kids will be more subject to immune diseases. Mixed marriages are not always favoured by the people around them, a sociologist, Anatoly Golubovsky, says.

"As regards to the society, what matters here is the level of xenophobia. Besides, there is such a phenomenon as a civil nation. An Algerian citizen living in France for dozens of years regards himself as a French citizen. People always get confused with political, civil, ethnic and nation definitions."

As practice shows, citizenship does not always guarantee success. Even if migrants have passports of the country of their residence, they prefer to settle on ethnic or religious grounds. This is how Chinese, Arab, and Italian quarters emerge outside the borders of migrants' historical land. While coming into contact with the indigenous population, migrants do not feel well either. In a number of countries enmity towards mixed marriages is based on cultural degradation and the fear of being oppressed.

A situation emerging inside a mixed family as well as the interaction between such families is not well studied yet. The factual collapse of multiculturalism the modern European society has faced is only aggravating the situation. However, experts say that this phenomenon should be carefully analyzed.
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Multiculturalism – child adoption
Racial matching in adoption a white obsession, poll shows
John Bingham
Daily Telegraph, 28 December 2012

White people are far more likely to think that children need to be adopted by families from their own racial background than people from ethnic minorities are, a study shows.

The research for the thinktank British Future offers support to the Education Secretary, Michael Gove's controversial moves to speed up the adoption process by eliminating ethnic "matching". ...

Current laws - which Mr Gove is in the process of repealing - require social workers and adoption agencies to consider a child's ethnic and religious background when placing them with new families to prevent them suffering an "identity crisis".

But the polling found that almost half of non-white people believe that race should not be factor at all in adoption - a view held by only a third of white people.

Equally 47 per cent of white people polled think that the authorities should "ideally" find a racial or religious match for children.

But only 29 per cent of people from ethnic minority backgrounds thought this.
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Multiculturalism – religion
Church of England should consider opening doors to Muslims and Hindus
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 27 December 2012

The Church of England should consider opening its doors to congregations from other faiths including Muslims and Hindus, the head of the Countryside Alliance has said.

Sir Barney White-Spunner said he was concerned that churches in villages and towns were falling into disrepair and not being used enough.

He said he was "hugely excited" about opening up churches to other Christian denominations and, in the longer term, other faiths. ...

He added that in his personal view, other faiths could also use churches. He said: "I personally think that in the long run you can extend it further to other faiths. Britain is changing, as the census has shown." ...

While the number of Christians has fallen from 37m to 33m, almost all other major faiths in Britain have seen a rise in their following. The number of Muslims has risen almost doubled to 2.7m, while the number of Hindus has risen from 144,000 to 148,000.

The Church of England said that while it would allow its buildings to be used by worshippers from other Christian denominations, it could not allow them to be used for worshipping other faiths.

Steve Jenkins, head of media for the Church of England, said: "It wouldn't be a Church of England church if it was open to other faiths. They want their own buildings anyway, they don't want to share with us. ..."
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Multiculturalism – cost of interpreters, health services
NHS spends £11 million on interpreters
Victoria Ward
Daily Telegraph, 26 December 2012

The NHS spent £17 million on interpreters for non-English speakers last year an increase of almost 15 per cent, research has revealed.

The cost of providing language services to foreign patients has soared in the last few years, with experts warning that cutbacks could save other far more valuable resources. ...

Critics have warned that the provision of translation and interpretation services only serves to perpetuate the language barrier, heightening the divide between foreigners and the rest of the UK. They claim that such services provide little incentive for them to learn English. ...

The figures are based on the responses given by 37 acute hospital trusts. Not all Trusts surveyed were able to provide details of how much such services cost them.

Of the trusts that responded with figures for last year and this year, it emerged that spending had increased by almost 15 per cent from £1.4m to £1.6m.
[Site link]


Multiculturalism – adoption, race
On adoption, race does matter
Oona King
The Guardian, 22 December 2012

The government, spurred on by the education secretary, Michael Gove (himself adopted as a baby), is determined to ensure "race doesn't matter" when it comes to finding families for children in care. While Gove's motives are understandable, the Lords committee, on which I sit, decided this week that his main proposal – the end to the obligation on social workers to give "due consideration" to race, religion and ethnicity when assessing adoptions – should be scrapped.

We would all agree with Gove in principle that race shouldn't matter ... But for many black and mixed-race children, ethnicity shapes their experience. To imagine it doesn't is to imagine the earth is flat. I've lived that experience and I know it's real.

But I also know that the single most important thing for a child is a loving family. Sometimes it is difficult to meet both these fundamental needs – for a loving family, and for ethnicity to be acknowledged and at least partially reflected. ...

... But numerous black and mixed-race adopted adults contacted me to say that being adopted into a white family, notwithstanding unconditional parental love, often left them struggling to resolve difficult issues around identity. Obviously some black adoptees don't have this experience, but it was a recurring theme.
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Multiculturalism – diversuty, social fragmentation, environmental action
Xenophobia Upside: Ethnic And Religious Diversity Correlated To Less Environmental Action
Science 2.0, 20 December 2012

When is diversity a bad thing? When it comes to environmental action, according to a new paper from the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Scandinavian countries, low in ethnic and religious diversity, take more collective action than more diverse nations, like the UK, China and the United States. But the UEA paper frames diversity using the more negative term 'fragmentation'.

Americans may love separation of church and state and the mix of multiple religions in the USA but Dr. Elissaios Papyrakis, a senior lecturer in UEA's School of International Development and a senior researcher at Vrije Universiteit in Holland, found that religious diversity has an even greater detrimental impact on environmental performance than ethnic diversity.

Papyrakis gathered data on ethnicity, religion, industry, income and population density, and then more subjective measures like conflict and control of corruption, for 127 developed and developing countries and then matched them to environmental performance. He then created a metric for what influences a country's environmental performance and investment in protection measures and whether this is associated with social diversity.

The data analyzed was for the period between 1960 and 2006, the most recent available to him. ...

Although numerous factors influence environmental performance simultaneously, ethnic and religious diversity alone can explain a substantial part of the differences observed in environmental performance across countries. For example, an ethnically fragmented country such as Tanzania invests 11 per cent less for the future (adjusted net savings) compared to other Sub-Saharan African countries, such as Madagascar, that are not diverse.

Papyrakis believes that "social fragmentation has a negative effect on environmental performance. Countries that are either ethnically or religiously diverse tend to under-invest in environmental protection, even when one controls for differences in income and industrial activity, for example. ..." ...

Dr Papyrakis said the findings have significant policy implications, especially if you believe a hive mind of collective action on one policy issue trumps cultural openness: "Policy-makers need to promote collective action and communication among different groups, acknowledging that investment for the public benefit often requires broad social consensus and solidarity.

"The question of what makes some countries more successful than others in managing their environment is certainly one of the most fascinating environmental economists can ask, but also one that is difficult to answer due to the interaction between several factors. This analysis is a first step in exploring the intriguing relationship between ethnic and religious diversity and the environment."
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Multiculturalism – adoption, race, identity
Lords committee rejects Michael Gove claim that race holding up adoptions
John Bingham
Daily Telegraph, 19 December 2012

Race should still be taken into account when children are placed for adoption despite Michael Gove's efforts speed up the process by disregarding ethnicity, peers have concluded.

A House of Lords committee said it was "not convinced" by the Education Secretary's argument that the current rules encouraging social workers to try to place children with families from their own ethnic background were causing delays.

And it described the Government's efforts to speed up the process by placing children with foster parents likely to go on to adopt them as a "missed opportunity".

Mr Gove, who was himself adopted as a child, has repeatedly criticised social workers for seemingly allowing a fixation with finding the "perfect match" to stand in the way of identifying stable and loving homes for children.

He said earlier this year that it was "simply disgraceful" to allow the search for families from the same ethnic background to become a barrier to adoption.

But, in a report published today, the Lords committee which scrutinised proposed legal changes on adoption said it had doubts that the issue was a major problem.

Baroness Butler-Sloss, the chair of the committee, said: "We do not agree with the Government's proposal to remove the requirement to consider ethnicity when matching children with families.

"We have not been convinced that this process causes significant delay and we are concerned that to remove the requirement entirely might send a message to those working in the field that these issues do not matter, when clearly they are all components of a child's identity.

"We believe that race, religion, culture and language should continue to be taken into account when placing children in new homes."

It also concluded that the current "fostering for adoption" plans did not go far enough.

An Ofsted report in April found "little evidence" that an obsession with finding a racial match was a significant problem.

It found that repetitive and bureaucratic court proceedings were the main cause of delay in adoptions, not foot-dragging by social workers.
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Where does Danny Boyle's Britain go from here?
Matthew d'Ancona
Sunday Telegraph, 16 December 2012

This is why Ed Miliband's intelligent speech on Friday repays study. Not for the first time, the Labour leader apologised for the failure of the last government to manage immigration successfully. As he is well aware, many more expressions of regret will be necessary. When Damian Green was appointed immigration minister in 2010, he requested a thorough briefing on border control from officials and was told: "It's worse than you think." ...

... The Prime Minister has promised to bring net migration down to "tens of thousands". If I were Cameron, I would drop that target, just as George Osborne has adapted his goals for the structural deficit and for debt. When a nation is trying to ward off a triple-dip recession, it needs maximum flexibility – not least when it comes to labour mobility.

Notice, however, that these are administrative questions. It is a simple statement of fact that we live in a profoundly pluralistic society, dynamic rather than static, a mosaic rather than a monolith. ...

And there are many reasons why this is a good thing: if you don't share my enthusiasm for the cultural enrichment of modern Britain – the Britain of Danny Boyle's Olympic opening ceremony – you can at least celebrate the economic fruits of population mobility. ...

... In his call for integration, the Labour leader correctly rejected both assimilation (compared by the Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, to life in a country house where all must dress identically for dinner) and separation (or as the Labour leader put it, life in a hotel where "you are simply a paying guest who can put the 'do not disturb' sign outside the door"). ...

No subject attracts platitudes and bromides like this one. Even so, a sharp strategic divide is emerging between the two main parties on integration – a divide that needs to be excavated from all the polite language and Whitehall jargon. ...

Control of immigration is essentially a question of efficiency: building an administrative machine that works. The nurturing of integration is infinitely more complex. It is a matter of simple observation that we inhabit a pluralistic society, a house of many mansions. What takes courage is to identify, and insist upon, the points of non-negotiable conformity: the area of common ground beyond obedience to the law. There is no issue more delicate, or more pressing, for the 21st-century politician than this, for at its core pulses the most basic question of all: in an age of hectic change, how are we to live? Answers on a postcard, please.
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Alien nation: The new census reveals a Britain that would be unrecognisable even to our grandparents [part 1]
Peter Hitchens
Mail on Sunday, 16 December 2012

The future will be another country. They will do things differently there.

The Census is not just a description of the state of things on a day in 2011, it is a prophetic document telling us where we are going, whether we like it or not. I don't.

For the past 60 years or so, we have lived in a nation that was more or less familiar to anyone who had grown up in the pre-war Britain of 1939. ...

That period is now coming to an end. I suspect that anyone in Britain, travelling between 2012 and 2112 would be unable to believe that he was in the same place.

What is the most significant single fact in the Census? I do not think there is one. Several are shocking or disturbing, if you are not fond of change, and delightful if you are.

But there are some, which taken together, prophesy a transformation to come. ...

London is rapidly becoming a separate nation, as different from England as Scotland or Wales are, with indigenous British people now in a minority, in some areas a very small minority indeed, and incidentally with extremes of wealth and poverty not known since Edwardian times.

Then of course there is the decline in Christianity, down by four million, from 72 per cent to 59 per cent; the growth in indifference to religion, with non-believers almost doubling to 14.1 million; and also of Islam, rising so fast that one British resident in 20 is now a Muslim.

The Muslim population is young, and keen on large families, while the Christian population tends to be older and less likely to have children.

This is very much a work in progress, far from complete. ...

Do not be surprised if, in ten years, the gap between the number of professing Christians and the number of Muslims has grown much smaller. ...

I have deliberately left migration to the end. The figures are astonishing, with one in ten people in England and Wales now born abroad, and the rate of increase over the past few years equally astounding – almost half of these new citizens have arrived here since 2001.

And, in a figure that has not attracted the attention it should have, almost three million people live in households where no adults speak English as their first language.

The main significance of this is the speed of it. Even now, official immigration still stands at 180,000 a year. Probably these totals are an underestimate, as illegal migrants tend not to fill in forms.

But the really important fact is that this revolution is the result of a deliberate, planned attempt to change this country for ever, and we have the evidence of this.

On October 23, 2009, a former New Labour official called Andrew Neather wrote an article in the London Evening Standard which was that very rare thing – a genuine revelation of a political secret.

The crucial passage described 'a major shift from the policy of previous governments'.
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Alien nation: The new census reveals a Britain that would be unrecognisable even to our grandparents [part 2]
Peter Hitchens
Mail on Sunday, 16 December 2012

It disclosed that a 'big immigration report was surrounded by an unusual air of both anticipation and secrecy . . . there was a paranoia about it reaching the media . . . Earlier drafts I saw also included a driving political purpose: that mass immigration was the way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multicultural.

'I remember coming away from some discussions with the clear sense that the policy was intended – even if this wasn't its main purpose – to rub the Right's nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date. That seemed to me to be a manoeuvre too far.

'Ministers were very nervous about the whole thing . . . There was a reluctance elsewhere in Government to discuss what increased immigration would mean, above all for Labour's core white working-class vote . . .

'Part by accident, part by design, the Government had created its longed-for immigration boom. But Ministers wouldn't talk about it.' Why not? Because Labour voters wouldn't have liked it.

'While Ministers might have been passionately in favour of a more diverse society, it wasn't necessarily a debate they wanted to have in working-men's clubs in Sheffield or Sunderland.'

On Friday the Labour leader, Ed Miliband, was still trying to appeal to working-class voters whose views his metropolitan fat-cat party secretly despises.

While praising immigration to his London audience, he pretended to be concerned about it by admitting there is 'anxiety' about the pace of change.

He promised (absurdly, since the EU has controlled our frontiers for many years) that 'Britain must always control its borders'.

But he then swiftly dismissed the idea – which would be the only hope of future harmony – that migrants should assimilate, saying this was 'wrong for our country'.

He proclaimed: 'One Nation doesn't mean one identity. People can be proudly, patriotically British without abandoning their cultural roots.'

Is this true? In the days when the USA still sought to assimilate its migrants, it certainly didn't think so. It insisted that they became Americans in every way, and as soon as they could.

Half the point of American state schools was the creation of new young Americans.

Since that policy was abandoned 30 years ago, the USA has in reality ceased to be one country, with large areas speaking Spanish and retaining the customs and cultures of their homes, hostile or chilly to their American fellow citizens, who return the favour.

Any observant person in Britain can see the same process in such cities as Bradford, where multiculturalism has created two solitudes with their backs turned on each other.

Bit by bit, the people of this country are ceasing to have key things in common. They don't share a religion, or a culture, or a history. Many don't even share a language.

They don't eat the same food or watch the same TV stations or have a common sense of humour. ...

As it is, we are fast becoming a low-wage, unskilled economy, with overcrowded cities, multi-occupied housing and hopelessly strained medical services, transport and schools.
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Europe's most exotic city? It's Manchester! 153 languages spoken by a population of 500,000
Nick Fagge
Mail on Sunday, 16 December 2012

Its detractors try to portray it as a cold, wet and sometimes insular place.

But Manchester is actually one of the most exotic cities in the world, researchers claim. This is due to its cultural diversity, with at least 153 languages spoken.

Two-thirds of Mancunian school children are bilingual, with the number of languages likely to increase, according to the study by Manchester University.

The city is more diverse than London, and rivalled only by New York and Paris for its ethnic and linguistic mix, claims Professor Yaron Matras, who carried out the research.

'Manchester's language diversity is higher than many countries in the world,' Professor Matras said. 'It is very likely to be the top of the list in Europe, certainly when compared to other cities of its size.'

With a population of 500,000, Manchester is much smaller than London, where more than 300 languages are spoken by eight million inhabitants.

Professor Matras said: 'There are certainly a greater number of languages spoken in London but these are by people who are passing through – diplomats, businessmen, etc – but in Manchester, the foreign language speakers are residents.

'Around two-thirds of Mancunian school children are bilingual – a huge figure which indicates just how precious its linguistic culture is. As immigration and the arrival of overseas students to the city continues, it's fair to say that this already large list is set to grow.' ...

Professor Matras said the Census data released last week underestimated the number of multi-lingual households in the UK, as respondents were asked to name their main language.

'Most multi-linguals speak a language other than English at home, but use English at work, in their place of study, so they will answer that English is their main language, even though this is not strictly accurate.'
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I no longer recognise the Britain I grew up in
A. N. Wilson
Daily Mail, 15 December 2012

It is a worrying fracturing of society – and I believe the reasons for it can be found in the Census report this week which laid bare the true, staggering scale of immigration to Britain in recent years. ...

Now, it is rare to hear English spoken on any of the buses that I take regularly. ... ...

Now, it is possible to arrive in London and live entirely in your own language-world. Is it surprising that society is fragmentary, when countless thousands of our fellow-citizens cannot actually communicate with each other?

There are now ten schools in England where no pupil speaks English as a first language. ... In some 600 English primary schools, English is the second language for over 70 per cent of the pupils. ...

As we begin to absorb the information from the 2011 Census, we have had to come to terms with its extraordinary statistics, such as the fact that more than a million schoolchildren in England and Wales belong to households where English is not spoken.

The Census has confirmed what we all vaguely sensed – that the staggering increase in the number of immigrants in recent years has fundamentally changed the country in which most of us grew up, in many cases beyond recognition.

When Idi Amin kicked out the Asians from Uganda in 1972, about 27,000 came to this country. ...

But the migration of the past 15 years has been on a totally different scale. Over four million immigrants have arrived in the past decade; 7.5 million people born abroad are now resident in Britain. In London, white Britons are now in the minority.

And perhaps the most disturbing element of all is that there has been no major public debate about this. None at all. And any attempt to discuss the matter honestly has been censored either by the BBC or one group or another accusing people of racism. ...

How many among even Labour supporters, I wonder, entirely swallow the argument that such mass immigration strengthens us as a nation? ...

Whereas Huguenots arrived in their few thousands, this country's Bangladeshi community alone totals more than 200,000, while there are 482,000 of Pakistani origin, 694,000 of Indian origin as well, of course, as nearly 600,000 Poles and millions from other places. ...

We no longer recognise the country we grew up in. We are increasingly aware that a uniting British culture that evolved over centuries is fragmenting.
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Multiculturalism – integration
Miliband calls for improved integration of immigrants to reduce pressures of a multi-ethnic society
Nigel Morris
The Independent, 14 December 2012

The Labour leader Ed Miliband today called for an overhaul of housing and employment policy – and a concerted drive to teach English to recent immigrants – in an effort to improve integration and reduce the strains of a multi-ethnic society.

He admitted that the last Government made serious mistakes over immigration, underestimating the capacity of some communities to adapt to new arrivals. He also conceded that it had blundered by adopting an open-doors policy for new arrivals from the East European countries that joined the EU in 2004.

Under his proposals, Labour would expect migrants to learn English, tackle landlords who cram newcomers into overcrowded houses and ban recruitment agencies from seeking workers only from particular countries or ethnic groups. ...

He insisted: "Separation means isolation and you can't succeed in Britain if you are isolated. Isolation also breeds ignorance and ignorance breeds suspicion and prejudice – and it sometimes even leads to community to turn on community."

Speaking in Tooting, south London, the Labour leader protested that Britain was one of the few European countries not to have an integration strategy and argued: "We must put that right."

He called for money spent on translation services to be switched to English language lessons. He said: "Our goal should be that everyone in Britain should know how to speak English. We should expect that of the people that come here." ...

He said: "We should celebrate multi-ethnic diverse Britain. We are stronger for it - and I love Britain for it.

"Britain is at its best when it comes together as a nation, not when it stands divided. That's what One Nation is about.

"But at the same time we know there is anxiety about immigration and what it means for our culture. The answer is not to sweep it under the carpet or fail to talk about it, nor is it to make promises that can't be kept. It is to deal with all of the issues that concern people."
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Multiculturalism – diversity
The London effect - Britain is becoming more like its capital city
The Economist, 15 December 2012

On December 11th the latest batch of data from the 2011 census of England and Wales was published (Scotland and Northern Ireland collect figures separately). As was widely anticipated, this showed a big increase in the number of people who say they belong to an ethnic minority, or were born somewhere other than Britain. Those who define themselves as "white British" now make up just 81% of the population, down from 88% in 2001, when the last census was conducted. ...

But beneath these broad trends the data reveal a more subtle pattern. In 2001 fully 45% of the minority population of England and Wales lived in London. ... Meanwhile, the rest of the country is coming to look more like London: less white, more diverse.

In 2001 around 80% of black Africans in the country lived in London. Now, just 58% do. There have been similar, if smaller, reductions for every other main ethnic group, even those not thought to have dispersed much, such as Bangladeshis. Overall, the ethnic-minority population outside London has increased by 90%, against a more modest rise of 63% in the capital.

In Kent, an affluent county south of London, the size of the ethnic-minority population has grown by 115% since 2001, albeit from a low base. In Hertfordshire, a rural and suburban county north of London, it has doubled.
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Multiculturalism – liberalism, politics
New Labour's immigration revolution has transformed England, and not entirely for the better
Ed West
Telegraph blog, 12 December 2012

Yesterday's census figures are Tony Blair's legacy: a demographic revolution unprecedented in English history. As Kevin Myers once put it, "London has undergone a demographic transplant unlike that experienced by any European capital since the Fall of Constantinople in 1483". Vast numbers of foreign nationals now live in Britain, including not just Indians, Poles and Pakistanis, but a surprising number of groups like Germans; ... ...

But much as I like the psychological absence of barriers, we should not pretend that it does not come with huge costs, and that these are mostly borne by the less privileged. How many liberal commentators send their children to inner-city schools that aren't inside those precious middle-class catchment areas?. Those commentators, often rural-based, talk about unhappy people stuck in high-immigrant areas in the same way conservatives talk about those in areas of high unemployment – move, loser! ...

... The main cornerstones of liberalism, things such as the jury system and parliamentary rule, are themselves products of very mono-ethnic societies, namely England, Denmark and the Netherlands, where people felt a lot of trust for fellow citizens. The Left likes "diversity" because it hates racism, and because immigrants overwhelmingly vote for the Left, they assume it can only make the country more liberal. But what I suspect (and perhaps fear) is that this demographic experiment our leaders have embarked upon (without asking whether or not we wanted it) is going to make us less liberal. All the evidence, from social sciences and from history, tells us that that highly diverse societies tend to be less trusting, less free, more unequal and more corrupt. These are not the sorts of societies where people will willingly pay for each other's housing when hard times fall.
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Multiculturalism – population, mixed race
Britain's mixed race population leaps over one million as research reveals prejudices have sharply dropped
Louise Eccles
Daily Mail, 10 December 2012

The mixed-race population is among the fastest growing in Britain and is already the largest ethnic group among under-16s.

Data from the 2011 census, released tomorrow, will suggest there are now more than one million people born to parents in interracial relationships.

But academics believe the true figure could be more than double this, because many of mixed-race are believed to define themselves as a single race on official forms.

It coincides with a poll which suggests prejudices towards mixed-race relationships are waning.

Think-tank British Future found just 15 per cent would feel uncomfortable if their child was in an interracial relationship, compared with 40 per cent two decades ago.

Among the 18 to 24 category, this fell to 5 per cent, with the younger generation claiming they would be more concerned if their child married someone from a wealthier background.

The prominence of mixed-race celebrities has been partly credited with helping to change attitudes. ...

The latest census results are expected to rank British Indians as the largest ethnic minority group.

Islam will also be identified as the fastest-growing faith, with more than two million Muslims. According to the 2001 census, 677,177 classified themselves as mixed race, equating to 1.2 per cent of the UK population.

The 2011 census is expected to show that one million Britons are mixed race, which equates to 1.6 per cent of the population. ...

... The survey found 87 per cent of people from mixed-race backgrounds were open to mixed-race relationships compared with 60 per cent of whites.
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Multiculturalism – South Africa
South Africa still a chronically racially divided nation, finds survey
David Smith
The Guardian, 7 December 2012

"Can we deny that Cape Town is still the most racist city in South Africa?" asks Kenneth Lukuko, in an essay contained in the SA reconciliation barometer survey (pdf) published on Thursday. "Perhaps we can't." ...

But while Cape Town is regularly accused of being a neo-apartheid stronghold the annual survey by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) raises some difficult questions about the rainbow nation project as a whole.

Eighteen years after the end of white minority rule, it found, 43.5% of South Africans rarely or never speak to someone of another race. Little more than a quarter (27.4%) interact with a person of another race always or often on ordinary weekdays, while 25.9% do so sometimes.

Less than one in five (17.8%) South Africans always or often socialise with people of other races in their homes or in the homes of friends. A further 21.6% do so sometimes, and more than half (56.6%) rarely or never socialise across race lines. ...

The poll found that 61.8% of South Africans believe that national unity across historical divides is desirable, although agreement is lower among white (49.4%) and coloured (mixed race) (50.5%) youth, who display higher levels of ambivalence – and 59% believe that this is possible.

Disapproval of racial integration in schools, residential neighbourhoods, workplaces and marriage has continued to decline overall. But still 18.1% of South Africans say they would not approve of living in a residential area in which half their neighbours were people of other races, and 20.3% would disapprove of working for and taking instructions from someone of another race.
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Multiculturalism – births, Republic of Ireland
This great, liberal society is silent on decisive social issues of our time
Kevin Myers
Irish Independent, 20 November 2012

Nothing exposes the existence of a subconscious political agenda quite like the use of statistics. Take the recently released figures and analyses from the Central Statistics Office, 2010-11. They revealed, amongst others things, that the birth rate amongst Irish women is now catastrophically below replacement level: our overall birth rate is 2.06, which is just below the generally accepted replacement figure of 2.1, and down 36pc in 30 years. But only 77pc of our births were to Irish mothers, so proportionately, the indigenous Irish population is plummeting. However, even to say this is probably "racist" according to the norms of our splendid media studies courses; and so, what would once have been a most salient headline revelation was at best last week a footnote, if even that.
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Multiculturalism – official language, USA
Bush Commerce Sec: English Shouldn't Be Government's Official Language
Tony Lee
Breitbart, 14 November 2012

Republican Carlos Gutierrez, the Secretary of Commerce for George W. Bush's second term, said English should not be the official language of the U.S. government on Sunday.

Speaking on a panel on CNN's "State of the Union," Gutierrez said Republicans should lead on "comprehensive immigration reform" and the DREAM Act, while getting rid of "things like English as the official language of government."
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Multiculturalism – actors
Blackta, Young Vic, review
Charles Spencer
Daily Telegraph, 7 November 2012

Over recent years we have seen the growth of colour-blind casting in the theatre, as stage productions try to reflect today's multi-cultural society.

There are some who suggest that having black actors playing English Kings in Shakespeare is "political correctness gone mad" but by and large, I think the majority of theatre audiences accept that the colour of an actor's skin shouldn't restrict the roles he or she is able to play. It is talent that should count.

It's still a live issue though. The RSC, which has led the way in colour-blind casting, has just run into trouble for featuring only three East Asian actors in its forthcoming production of The Orphan of Zhao, a play regarded as the Chinese Hamlet. Now the actor Nathaniel Martello-White has come up with Blackta, a sparky satire about the life of black British thesps.
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Multiculturalism – births
A quarter of all babies born in the UK are the children of immigrants as mothers from Poland, India and Pakistan give birth in record numbers
Sam Adams
Daily Mail, 25 October 2012

Almost a quarter of babies born in the UK are children of immigrants, according to latest statistics.

There were 808,000 births in the UK last year, of which 196,000 were to non-UK born mothers - or 24 per cent.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows there has been a steady increase in the number of births to mothers who were born abroad since 2001, when the figure stood at 15.3 per cent.

Polish women who live in the UK gave birth to around 23,000 children last year.

Women from Pakistan had 19,200 babies in the same period and Indian women gave birth to 15,500 children.

Four in 10 children born to immigrant mothers were born in London.

Half were born in other parts of England, and one in 10 were born in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland combined.

The ONS said fertility rates for non-UK born women are higher than those born in the UK.

The total fertility rate for women born in the UK is 1.89 children each, while for those born outside the UK the figure is 2.28.

The figures show that in 2007, 14 per cent of women living in the UK aged 15 to 44 had been born outside the UK. This rose to 18 per cent last year.

Poland, Pakistan and India were the most common countries of birth for non-UK born mothers in the between 2007 and 2011, according to the ONS.

However, general fertility rates (GFR) for women born in Pakistan was significantly higher during that period than the fertility of women born in India or Poland.

All three countries had higher fertility using this measure than women who were born in Britain.

In total, foreign-born mothers giving birth in the UK last year came from more than 200 different countries.

The geographical distribution of births to mothers born abroad was also found to vary according to the country they came from.

For example, while the number of births in London is similar for women born in Poland and Nigeria, the proportion of the total births they constitute for that country of birth is not - the ONS reports.

Births in London represented less than a quarter of total births to women born in Pakistan and Poland respectively in 2011, but 60 per cent of births to women born in Nigeria.